Privatized liquor: More West Seattle stores apply for licenses

March 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm | In West Seattle news, WS beverages | 39 Comments

For almost 2 months now, we’ve been tracking license applications, to see who in West Seattle plans to sell hard liquor once privatization takes full effect on June 1st. Another wave of applications has just appeared on the state Liquor Control Board‘s website.

Newest West Seattle applications: Metropolitan Market in Admiral (WSB sponsor), Bartell Drugs (Admiral and Jefferson Square stores), Walgreens (16th/Roxbury and High Point stores), Target (Westwood Village)

Previously reported West Seattle applications: West Seattle Thriftway, QFC (Junction and Westwood Village stores), Safeway (Admiral, Jefferson Square, Roxbury stores)

This is not likely the final list of who’ll be selling liquor in West Seattle – sales can’t start before June 1st, and qualifying businesses can apply at any time. Meanwhile, the fate of the current state liquor stores remains unsettled. The auction for the locations’ licenses continues; bidding started at $1,000, as reported here March 8th – the Westwood-location license is up to $3,050 (as of right before publication of this story, anyway), while the Junction-location license bidding is up to $5,100. Bidding is also open for all locations’ licenses together, and that’s now at $266,700. (And one final note – the legal fight over the liquor-privatization initiative isn’t over yet.)

ADDED 2:48 PM: Since PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) is the only currently-in-business West Seattle grocery store that hasn’t applied for a license, we checked with the company to see if they’re planning to. Spokesperson Diana Crane’s reply: “The straight answer is that we’re still considering this opportunity and haven’t reached any decisions yet.”

39 Comments

  1. Wonder if Starbucks will bid….a liquor store on every corner.

    Comment by steve — 12:58 pm March 20, 2012 #

  2. Finally….the privatization is going through as voted on by the consensus. Can’t wait to see the gov’t out of a business they never should have entered in the first place!

    Comment by mfceo — 1:11 pm March 20, 2012 #

  3. @steve.. I remember being in Vegas once getting coffee from a Starbucks and being asked if I wanted any shots of Baileys in it… so maybe.

    Comment by SJ2 — 1:26 pm March 20, 2012 #

  4. Well some Starbucks already sell beer and wine, how about an irish coffee as well. I dig it. As well as the increased revenue that our state badly needs.

    Comment by cr — 1:33 pm March 20, 2012 #

  5. West Seattle is what, 12 square miles? So this brings the number of known license applications to one every square mile, not counting the currently open bidding for the two existing state stores. Does West Seattle actually need such density in liquor stores? I’m gonna go with “no” on this one. It’ll be interesting to see whether Trader Joe’s gets in on the fun, and how these stores will differentiate from one another. My greatest fear, truly, is Safeway- and Kroger- and Western Family-branded liquor…

    Comment by Marc — 1:39 pm March 20, 2012 #

  6. I just couldn’t resist this, taken from the Bartells website…
    Company mission and philosophy:
    To serve our northwest neighbors’ health and wellness needs better than anyone else.

    –I’ll take a single malt, please.

    Comment by Wendell — 1:47 pm March 20, 2012 #

  7. Marc- Why would you fear Safeway/Kroger/Western Family liquor? Do you fear their cereals and canned goods as well?

    Comment by mfceo — 2:09 pm March 20, 2012 #

  8. Marc,
    That’s the great thing about capitalism. The market will let us know how many we need based on consumer demand! Love it that the government isn’t involved in this anymore.

    Comment by cr — 2:09 pm March 20, 2012 #

  9. re: Walgreen’s — because more alcohol is EXACTLY what 16th & Rox needs.

    Comment by A — 2:12 pm March 20, 2012 #

  10. I didn’t include the White Center applications (we consider White Center to be over the county line) but since you mention that area – we have reported on White Center Now that Bartell right across the street at 15th/Roxbury has applied too. As has the company that’s taking over the White Center Albertsons, Saar’s.

    Comment by WSB — 2:17 pm March 20, 2012 #

  11. Walgreens can’t even secure their razor blades. Three inch glass coming to a store near you. Pass the popcorn.

    Comment by Wendell — 2:25 pm March 20, 2012 #

  12. Marc-it’s all about convenience – Starbucks has proved that model.

    Comment by Casey — 2:30 pm March 20, 2012 #

  13. No, this isn’t about capitalism; it’s about alcoholism. Addictive substances are not subject to the normal supply-and-demand matrices. Anyone whose life hasn’t been devastated by alcoholism probably doesn’t see the voice of the alcohol lobby at work in recent local developments regarding regulation changes in the industry.

    Comment by visitor — 2:34 pm March 20, 2012 #

  14. Alcoholism is a fictitious ‘disease’ created by the medical community to increase revenues. It is a conflict of interest when broken down. One goes to the doctor/rehab facility to determine if one has a drinking problem. That facility has the ability to say yes or no. Yes means they will get money from you or your insurance company. No means they lose customers/clients. This is similar to congress voting for their own raises.

    Comment by mfceo — 2:55 pm March 20, 2012 #

  15. visitor,
    Apparently all mini marts and grocery stores missed your memo when it comes to tobacco, beer and wine. If people want to buy something, they will buy it. The voters of Washington approved the measure to put liquor in grocery stores.

    Comment by cr — 2:57 pm March 20, 2012 #

  16. FYI… Walgreen’s is one of the leading wine & spirits purveyors in the country. Same with filling prescriptions. Maybe MJ will not be too far behind?

    Comment by Aman — 3:00 pm March 20, 2012 #

  17. MFCEO, I’m with you on a lot of fictitious diseases. I don’t believe addictions are fictitious, though. Alcoholism killed my father at 44. Yeah, he drank himself to death, so you could call it a form of suicide instead. But he was hooked. I don’t believe addicts are blameless, and I am not sitting here campaigning for less alcohol sales as a result, but just since we truth-squad the comment section as best we can … I am chiming in here. Addictions can be kicked but it ain’t easy. I quit smoking when I was “only” six years into it. Cold turkey, the 20th or 30th time finally took. Sorry, I digress. P.S. My father refused to seek treatment so gosh darn, didn’t cost the medical system an extra cent.

    Comment by WSB — 3:05 pm March 20, 2012 #

  18. Habits can be kicked. This is without question. Addiction is created within the mind though, and a sound mind will defeat these habits. That being said, I will not say anymore as I do not want to offend the deceased.

    Comment by mfceo — 4:04 pm March 20, 2012 #

  19. The deceased are probably beyond offense, though you might offend others.

    Comment by Jeff — 4:24 pm March 20, 2012 #

  20. Mfceo – scientologist by any chance?

    Comment by MillerTime — 4:52 pm March 20, 2012 #

  21. Does it matter, MillerTime?
    .
    I love the fact that I can buy diapers, mild and some good ole hooch when I stumble into the Safeway. As for your comment, Visitor… what would you suggest? The state to continue burning up tax dollars while “managing” the sales to all of us? Does that include the alcoholics you are so concerned about?

    Comment by NotMe — 5:28 pm March 20, 2012 #

  22. I have always thought Roxbury to be the city line as opposed to the county line?

    Comment by Rick — 5:42 pm March 20, 2012 #

  23. I regret voting for it, as now I am learning that bottles of liquor sold to restaurants, bars, clubs will increase 20-30%…guess who will have to pay for the incresed cost. Your favorite cocktail will now have see a price increase.

    Comment by bob — 6:14 pm March 20, 2012 #

  24. MFCEO, Alcoholism has been a disease for 200 years. Please don’t pretend it’s all a plot by the insurance companies.

    Comment by Kate — 6:17 pm March 20, 2012 #

  25. Sorry, I think of it as “city runs this side, county runs that side” since White Center is unincorporated (for now) and the county is their only governmental jurisdiction. But of course in the classic sense of “county line” being the line between two counties, that it is not! I’ll think of a better way to describe it … TR

    Comment by WSB — 6:26 pm March 20, 2012 #

  26. MFCEO – I am pretty sure that cirrohsis is not a fictional condition.

    Comment by homesweethome — 6:40 pm March 20, 2012 #

  27. The ironic thing to me was, while the state was the only place we could by booze and we had to go to select stores during select hours to buy select varieties, was the state encouraging us to buy LESS by opening more stores on Sunday and advertising sales and rebates on FULL PAGE COLOR ads in the Seattle Times? It seems to me that state needed to sell MORE to make ends meet – especially since the state (quietly) was looking to take bids from private companies to run the distribution warehouse due to lack of funds.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016659184_distribution01.html
    The state was less concerned about alcoholism (I saw many a questionable customer in the liquor stores), consumer choices and effective enforcement (as compared to the sweeping crackdown of doormen and bartenders in “operation sobering thought” http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2004127598_danny16.html) than figuring out how to sell more liquor and renovate stores (how long was the new Jefferson Square store open before the vote?). Maybe now, they can let stores sell the liquor and they can get back to the business of enforcement without a conflict of interest!

    Comment by Todd — 6:51 pm March 20, 2012 #

  28. Lot of moralists on this thread. As for the number of liquor applications in West Seattle, my concern is more pragmatic: what grocery store selections are going to shrink to make room for hard liquor? Metropolitan isn’t the biggest store around, so I’d prefer they not squeeze other selections to make room for scotch, gin, etc. And PCC is even smaller, so I hope they keep their current space allocation. Safeway….. well I’d probably shop there more often if they carried some hard liquor.

    Also, the person who said alcoholism has been a disease for 200 years– really, not before then? Not a problem in the Renaissance or during biblical days? I’m truly amazed.

    Comment by rw — 7:07 pm March 20, 2012 #

  29. WSB, would unincorporated sound right?

    Comment by Mike — 7:31 pm March 20, 2012 #

  30. Alcoholism would fall under disease by its definition. Take it up with the people that make dictionaries , http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disease

    Comment by Mike — 7:37 pm March 20, 2012 #

  31. We’re not blaming alcoholism on liquor stores and sales are we? I should hope not.

    Comment by OP — 7:10 am March 21, 2012 #

  32. I’m sure all the people complaining about the new liquor offerings and the “potential” health problems have nothing to do with the push to legalize pot, right?! Just making sure — seems silly if you are.

    Comment by Rumbles — 8:25 am March 21, 2012 #

  33. Since obesity is a disease, shouldn’t grocery stores be regulated?

    Comment by mrsB — 8:43 am March 21, 2012 #

  34. I would say very unscientifically that alcoholism is an addiction than contributes to may diseases and causes some diseases. My parents are alcoholics who are very functional. Alchohol and tobacco are choices they made that will most definitely shorten their lives though. Both of them have health issues directly related to the consumption of these 2 things. But makong a choice to stop is still a choice. They can stop drinking. My friend couldnt turn off her cancer when she died at 19. That she did nothing to cause.

    Comment by Cclarue — 8:44 am March 21, 2012 #

  35. I will also add that i think alcohol is far more dangerous than mj. I would legalize mj. And request that people learn self control when it comes to both. But i know thats a stretch;) And i dont smoke mj. I did in my youth a bit but never liked coughing…. And i do not have time to be in slow gear!! But i dont see the harm in it in relation to alcohol at all. Alcohol has had many more ill effects in my experience than mj ever did and my parents smoked that also. I like that my mom thought i didnt know what she was doing.

    Comment by Cclarue — 8:56 am March 21, 2012 #

  36. And people are concerned when a weed joint (no pun intended) opens, but are excited about this?

    Comment by Dizzle — 9:55 am March 21, 2012 #

  37. Funny how the drug stores have all the “wellness” branding on their store fronts, yet their main business is alcohol and cigarettes both of which cause a great deal of health problems.

    Comment by CB — 2:10 pm March 21, 2012 #

  38. Cheap high-proof alcohol available in every store will not solve anyone’s problems, and it can cause some very serious problems, like increased impaired driving, violence, domestic abuse and alcohol poisoning. When someone you love has been the victim of alcohol abuse, you probably won’t rant about the idea of having government controls on this substance. We will have to learn the hard way – from statistics – the price for our convenience, better selection and anti-government attitude. Better hope you or a loved one aren’t one of those “statistics”.

    Comment by Kathy — 11:58 pm March 21, 2012 #

  39. glourious day

    Comment by W.S. maverick — 6:35 am March 22, 2012 #

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