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Liquor store to close-Update 4/24

April 23rd, 2012 · 19 Comments

I spoke today with Bill Watson, store manager and employee for 20 years, about the upcoming closure.  Here’s what he had to say:

  • A man named Zeleke Kassahun purchased the store’s right to sell liquor during a month-long online auction for $241,300.  (The 167 stores in Washington state sold for more than 30 million dollars at auction).
  • All state liquor stores will close on May 31st-  liquor sales will go private June 1st.
  • Although many of their wines are currently on sale, Bill says don’t expect “going out of business sale” prices on the rest of the alcohol- anything left on May 31st will go back to the distribution center.
  • Bill is retiring and moving to Palm Springs.  He says ”Magnolia has been a great place to work, and he’ll miss our neighborhood.”

We will keep you posted!

 

The management at the Magnolia Liquor store found out Friday that they will close April 26th.  Magnolia Voice will follow up asap for more details.

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  • Noname

    Hic.

  • No name

    Does that mean no one felt it was a profitable location to buy?  Too much competition from Bartells?  I’ve always felt the Washington State Liquor stores had a poor selection on certain types of specialty items used for recipes or special drinks.  I hope that one of the new liquor stores will have a wider selection.  In California we just got it at the grocery stores, and the better ones carried more variety.  Maybe Central Market will do that…

    • BillyBibbet

      Selection will be a problem.  Most liquor stores carry from 750 to 1400 labels, depending on store size.  Most grocery stores will simply not have the space or inclination to carry more than 300 to 400 labels.  Costco will probably carry even less.   Wine World may be the exception, they are telling customers they will carry over 2000 labels.
      http://wineworldwarehouse.com/

      • no name

        Thanks for the link.  When I pass the Wallingford store I got the impression it would be a low end outlet.  The website shows it seemingly to be a competitor to the other quality wine stores in town, though I’d hate to see them driven out.  Since I shop Amazon I guess I can’t be hypocritical on that.  I will be curious if there will be a high end hard liquor alternative…specifically the better liqueurs, etc. Will wine stores sell hard liquor as well?

        • BillyBibbet

          No Name, you will simply need to stop in, and make your own judgement on the quality of what they carry.  Not based on “passing by”. ..I have seen the gamut from inexpensive to practically unobtainable (only a small fraction appears to be available online so far)…they are locally owned, and support local wine and spirit producers.  If they plan on carrying 2000 labels of spirits,(which is greater than any WA ST liquor store), I am betting they will have what you want. When I was in there three weeks ago, they had large board asking customers to place a Post-It Note with any special requests, and they would try to accomodate them….there were hundreds posted.

          Any wine store can carry spirits if they meet the minimum 10,000 square foot requirement.  That barrier is both a problem and a blessing.  It was to prevent every corner store from selling spirits, but it also reduces competition.

          • no name

            You seem very knowledgable about the liquor industry.  I have been buying wines at Central Market for some time and get a 15% discount on half cases, etc. and they all seem to order from the same distributors, at least for Bordeaux and the other wines I buy.  I appreciate hearing that this new outlet may bring in a wider selection of hard spirits not available at Central or the smaller wine stores.  With a name like “WineWorldWarehouse” I would have thought they were just that.  Thanks. 

  • Digphotodude

    I’d love to know how to find out if someone bough the village store. Anyone have any heads up on that?  Did  some googling yesterday, but didn’t get anywhere.

  • Mckdon

    Employees at Washington STate Liquor Stores are finding other jobs, so it an allocation of remaining employees where needed.

  • Shawn
  • no name

    Thanks to the komo news link.  So the store WAS purchased and isn’t just closing.  Pubs, liquor stores and liquor outlets will find buyers in Magnolia evidently.  Its the other empty storefronts that make me wonder what  services people actually will use here in the village rather than shopping elsewhere.

    • BillyBibbet

      Pretty much ALL of the liquor stores were sold.  That does NOT mean it will be in the same exact location, but that a store can continue to operate of the same square footage, and general area.  These are exempt to the 10,000 square foot minimum rule.

  • Oneeda Belt

    Magnolia needs a couple more bars and a new liquor store. These places bring winners to the village.

    • BillyBibbet

      There will be no “new” liquor store, only the existing one will continue.  The Thriftway, Albertsons and QFC have all applied for a license…we’ll have to wait and see if they actually will carry spirits, and how much…since anything they add, means they have to reduce other products on the shelf.

  • Mfrederick

     http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930202&slug=1683299

    • Neighbor

      That is not a very comforting story!

    • curious

      OK, so I understand we need to move on after someone has served time for an offense, and allow them to move on…but is it possible for a convicted felon to get a liquor license? 

    • Scooter

      His conviction was overturned in 1995. 

  • Michael on McGraw.

    Bellevue’s two dwtn. liquor stores ‘sold’ for $210K per, with much higher traffic volumes than the sleepy Magnolia location (which went for $240K).    What gives?   Think the Russian Mafia is behind this somehow?    And think that the crack investigative staff @ the ‘Voice’ could look into this?    My thought, as well.  Not unless someone else reports on it first.     Follow that gas can…….

    • Just Me

      I need a hint. What are you implying? A Bellevue location went for less than the Magnolia location and you see WHAT in that? Ask me if I want a place in Bellevue or Magnolia, I’ll take the Village. Who says they’re going to sell liquor? The building might be worth more. I’m trying to figure out what’s bugging you.