Trader Joe's gets its retail liquor license in Denver

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

We can almost taste the Two Buck Chuck.

The Trader Joe's store that will be located at 790 Colorado Boulevard had a date with the city last Friday for a hearing on its liquor-license application -- and the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses just approved its retail liquor store license, which, under Colorado law, will make this the only Trader Joe's in the state allowed to sell liquor.

See also: - Trader Joe's is still not in Colorado -- see what you're missing.- Walmart pulls out of CU site near Trader Joe's project most neighbors embrace

What is technically referred to as Trader Joe's #310 is slated to open in the third quarter of 2013, about the same time another Trader Joe's store will open in Boulder. But that location will be dry, since a grocery store/drug store company is only allowed one liquor license in Colorado, no matter how many stores it has. And Trader Joe's #310 was the first location to jump through the hoops to get a retail store liquor license.

According to a Trader Joe's Company official who testified at the hearing, 88 percent of the company's stores sell alcohol -- including branded beer, wine and spirits, as well as private label brands. At Trader Joe's #310, the liquor store will be a separate shop with its own door, to comply with Colorado law.

In his recommended decision, William Hobbs, the hearing officer at the October 26 hearing, recommended that the Trader Joe's application be approved, and noted that there was no opposition to the application. (Ironically, this store will be only a block from where Walmart wanted to put a location -- a project that had plenty of opposition). And while Hobb's recommendation, which was issued on the same day as the hearing, noted that "any party in interest" could file objections to the recommended decision within ten calendar days of that date, Tom Downey, the director of excise and licenses, didn't wait long to issue his final decision, and approve the application.

Here's that final decision:

Trader Joe's Final Decision

"We don't have to wait," Downey notes. "We're not handing them the license."

Not today, the city isn't. But less than a year from now, if Trader Joe's #310 passes all its city inspections -- with safety, with planning/zoning, with excise and licenses -- it will have that license.

And Denver will finally have its Two Buck Chuck.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.