King Soopers plans to join Safeway and Target in the Denver area by opening a large new store that will carry full-strength beer, wine and possibly spirits.
The store, at 4600 Leetsdale Drive in Glendale, will be in a long-vacant Cub Foods, which King Soopers bought four years ago. Renovation of the building has already begun and will be finished in three to six months, says King Soopers spokeswoman Kelli McGannon.
"It was a unique opportunity," she says, adding that the store's large footprint is what will allow it to include beer and wine. Typical King Soopers stores are about 65,000 square feet; this location will have an additional 10,000 square feet for booze.
Colorado liquor laws currently allow companies to apply for only one drug store/liquor license which they can use for only one store. This means that each of the major grocery chains has had to pick a single location to sell anything stronger than 3.2 beer.
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Target sells booze at its store in Glendale, while Safeway uses its liquor license at a spot on Mineral Road in Littleton. This will be King Soopers's first venture into full-strength alcohol sales in Colorado, as the company has been waiting for a location.
McGannon says it's "silly" that you can't buy alcohol in groceries in Colorado, and she's not alone in those sentiments. Legislators have tried for three years running to change the liquor laws. Two recent initiatives that would have done that were shot down this year.
A proposed ballot initiative pushed by House District 7 candidate Blake Harrison, would allow grocery stores to sell booze at every location. If he gets enough signatures (he has yet to begin collecting them), that measure could go before voters in November.
McGannon says King Soopers hasn't decided what portion of its beer and wine offerings will be Colorado-made (local microbrews or Western Slope wines), but she adds that King Soopers tries to carry as much locally-grown or made products as possible.