Trader Joe's hopes dry up along with grocery liquor-sales bill

With the ground-breaking for an IKEA store in Centennial this week, Colorado came one step closer to becoming a shopper's mecca. But the state took a step back yesterday when HB 1279, which would have expanded alcohol sales in grocery stores, was killed -- and that means that Coloradans may never see a Trader Joe's.

The California-based chain has never responded to Westword's queries regarding why, exactly, the company has no store in Colorado, despite entreaties from many Colorado residents. But the most popular theory is that Colorado liquor laws prohibiting the sale of anything more than 3.2 beer in grocery stores make the economics of Trader Joe's -- renowned for its Two-Buck Chuck -- impossible here.

Saying she didn't have enough support to get HB 1279 through, Representative Buffie McFadyen, the bill's sponsor, asked for a House committee to kill it.

Still alive are two proposed initiatives that would let voters decide whether grocery stores should be allowed to sell alcohol. Attorney Blake Harrison, who'd led an early push to allow liquor-store sales on Sunday, is behind these two initiatives, too. But time is short to get the required 76,000 signatures by July 12 in order to get either of these measures on the November ballot.

Say it ain't so, (Trader) Joe.

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