West Seattle’s two state liquor stores are closing two days early

May 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm | In West Seattle news, WS beverages | 24 Comments

Just announced by the state Liquor Control Board, they’re closing the remaining state liquor stores in phases, with many shutting down BEFORE May 31st – meaning that since the private sellers aren’t supposed to start until June 1st, you might have a few days without availability. Here are the local stores affected, according to the WSLCB’s list: May 29th (next Tuesday) is the final day for West Seattle’s two state stores, in The Junction and at Westwood Village, while May 28th is the final day for the store in White Center. Meantime, several of the local grocery stores that will be selling hard liquor already have stocks on hand, though selling isn’t legal until June 1st.

24 Comments

  1. WSB, with the close of the state stores, would you make (or have you already made) available a map that would show those stores that are now going to be liquor sellers in West Seattle ? Or are there too many to consider to make that practical ?

    Thanks for any consideration on this…

    Comment by Petert — 3:23 pm May 22, 2012 #

  2. Peter, I’m working on that already. The only real question marks are the existing liquor stores – a license is being sought for one but not the other, at this point, following those auctions. Otherwise your basic guideline in advance is: Every chain drugstore. Every supermarket except PCC. Liquor already has been spotted in two Safeways (but of course not available for sale or other removal, yet). – TR
    .
    (added) Forgot to mention, Target too.

    Comment by WSB — 3:31 pm May 22, 2012 #

  3. is something similar to this going to happen at westwood village? from headline:
    “QFC is enforcing contracts at some of its locations that prohibit private liquor stores from operating in the same shopping centers”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018258005_liquor22.html

    Comment by sam-c — 3:38 pm May 22, 2012 #

  4. Don’t know. Westwood is NOT listed in that story, which I read earlier today, but also, I have been watching the liquor-license applications and unlike the Junction site, no one has applied for a license for that location, though someone did “win” the auction (we have a message out). Meantime, that center already has three prospective licensees, as we had reported in recent months – Target, QFC, and Rite-Aid. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:44 pm May 22, 2012 #

  5. FYI for West Seattlites who still shop Trader Joes in Burien, they don’t meet the 10K sqft requirement, so they aren’t able to carry liquor. That is why they are moving in a year and a half to a new location.

    Comment by WS — 4:03 pm May 22, 2012 #

  6. Do not forget the prime mover on this boozy event, Costco.
    They raised their membership fees to fund the campaign.
    They must be preparing wall-to-wall pallets of the stuff.

    Comment by old timer — 4:05 pm May 22, 2012 #

  7. Old Timer, I hardly think the Washington campaign has any relation to Costco’s fee structure. I will be curious to see their selection ….. and whether any of the retailers, such as Safeway and QFC, offer “coming out party” specials.

    Comment by Semi-Old Timer — 6:39 pm May 22, 2012 #

  8. While at trader joes west Seattle location today I ask About their liquor plans. My checker said they would have it including a trader joes labeled line which includes a decent bourbon….i’m looking forward to being able to find all my indulgence in one stop.

    Comment by Nichole — 7:37 pm May 22, 2012 #

  9. Yes, all West Seattle grocery stores, which includes Trader Joe’s, except PCC – I checked in with them again today and they said they haven’t made a final decision yay or nay yet. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:42 pm May 22, 2012 #

  10. I talked with the sales people at Westwood store and they have met the new owner and have been invited to stay on. Like at most other stores I’ve talked to, the compensation and benefits won’t come close to their previous union pay. They didn’t know anything about a qfc non compete and said the new owner had signed a lease. I hope everyone who voted for this will be happy paying 20-30% more. I’m really worried about all the neighborhoods restaurants and bars who will lose so much business from having to increase their prices due to the giant cost increase from suppliers.

    Comment by R0B0 — 9:20 pm May 22, 2012 #

  11. Of course those neighborhood bars will also be able to do little things like get extra stock mid-week without pleading to the liquor store for an exception (as they now have to do)

    Comment by eric — 10:14 pm May 22, 2012 #

  12. PCC – keep your square footage for produce. please.

    Comment by NW Momma — 11:17 pm May 22, 2012 #

  13. Unfortunately Eric, the new law prevents stores from selling more than 3 cases to anyone even if they hold a class h liquor license. And not only will your bar not get the class h discount, but they will have to pay at least 20% more for their product. Very convenient.

    Comment by R0B0 — 2:20 am May 23, 2012 #

  14. I spoke with employees of the store in Westwood last night. They told me that they had gotten new jobs at the Junction location, which WILL remain OPEN, albeit under new ownership.

    Comment by vraxvalhalla — 8:49 am May 23, 2012 #

  15. 2 days early ! !?? can’t . . . breathe . . .
    . . . . need . . . paper . . . . bag. . . . gasp. . . . . wheeze . . . . .

    Comment by dbsea — 9:06 am May 23, 2012 #

  16. Whatever the price is ..buying liquor will be a choice like every other purchase I make. If it’s too expensive I won’t buy it ..the same choice I made when the State ran things. I do think that eventually the grocery stores will have”sale” prices from time to time..like they do in California. As for our neighborhood restaurants & bars I honestly think folks will still patronize them-even if prices on drinks go up. At least I’m not ready to predict doom & gloom for them just yet.

    Comment by Anne — 9:10 am May 23, 2012 #

  17. Prices will reflect the open market. Unlike the state run monopoly of set prices.
    If sales lag because of prices at some stores, they will have to lower them to remain competitive.
    That is the beauty of a free market system. YOU have the choice to buy it WHERE you find the lowest prices.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 9:33 am May 23, 2012 #

  18. It prevents retailers from selling more than 3 cases, but they are perfectly capable of ordering from distributers more than once a week (which isn’t allowed now without special approval from the manager now). And 3 cases is actually quite sufficient for restocking runs on something specific.

    Comment by eric — 1:22 pm May 23, 2012 #

  19. Well, the old state system allowed license holders to walk in and buy 10 cases anytime along with the usual weekly order. The staff at my store and I had a good relationship and once even let me have 15 cases when I was surprised with a sponsorship. So to me only 3 cases and a 20% cost increase I’d less cool.

    As far as competition, well sure qfc will put some product on sale and safeway may lower their prices to compete. But where we really need some competition is at the distributor level. The distributors have apparently divided up the brands among themselves so they won’t have to compete. The high state tax remains the same and liquor distributors are raising prices. Look at the beer industry. Most beer in WA goes through 2 distributors who have divided the brands among themselves so they won’t have to compete. Beer wholesale prices went up 3 times last year. Prefer to buy from someone else? There are no other choices.

    Comment by R0B0 — 3:13 am May 24, 2012 #

  20. I thought the free market would provide lower prices.

    Comment by Nick — 1:17 pm May 24, 2012 #

  21. It would be interesting to see if there is any statistical correlation between traffic accidents and the short-lived dip in availability of hard liquor by the bottle.

    Comment by BlairJohnson — 6:52 am May 28, 2012 #

  22. The Junction store is only keeping 2 of the current employee’s

    Comment by Ex employee — 9:23 am May 29, 2012 #

  23. Check out the Safeway ad for this week and compare to the WSLCB price list. Prices appear to be lower. Not sure how the tax will ring up at the register and that could have a major impact. Here are a couple examples:

    R & R 1.75 liter at Safeway is $10.19, at the liquor store retail price is listed as $15.23 and with tax it’s $24.95.

    Grey Goose Vodka .75 liter at Safeway is $22.99, at the liquor store retail price is listed as $26.66 and with tax it is $34.95.

    The free market rules!

    Comment by 2 Much Whine — 8:55 am May 30, 2012 #

  24. Except that Safeway…and Costco…are deceptively leaving the state’s take, which is the same as it was…off of the advertised price. They add it on at the checkout counter. Speaking of whining,I heard a lot of it about the state tax, but the voters and their elected reps have decided it’s better to tax “sinners” than “rich people”, who naturally deserve every penny they earn/inherit/steal. The REAL losers here are the former State Liquor Store employees now struggling to find minimum wage jobs to replace their massive $15 an hour salaries. Sorry, the free market does not always “rule”.

    Comment by Fiwa Jcbbb — 3:10 pm June 4, 2012 #

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