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California-based liquor chain BevMo opens first Washington store in Tacoma

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on June 28, 2012 at 10:15 am |
June 28, 2012 2:58 pm

The first of what could be half-a-dozen liquor superstores California liquor giant BevMo plans to operate in Washington quietly opened its doors today near the Tacoma Mall.

The store, which will carry some 8,000 different beer, wine and spirits products, is the 117th store in the BevMo chain, which operates outlets throughout California and Arizona.

The Tacoma store and another in Silverdale plan a formal public grand opening July 13. The first 500 shoppers at the grand opening will receive gift bags with merchandise $50, said the chain.

BevMo CEO Alan Johnson said the chain is planning four or five more stores in Washington. He declined to reveal where those stores will be located. Liquor license applications show that BevMo has sought licenses for additional stores in Seattle, Tukwila and Bellevue.

BevMo is the first of the major out-of-state chains to come to Tacoma after voters approved Initiative 1183 last fall. That initiative ended the state’s monopoly on liquor sales and distribution in Washington.

A Maryland-based wine and spirits retailer, Total Wine & More, opened its first large store in Bellevue today.

The transition to private liquor sales took effect June 1.

More than 1,500 grocery stores, drugstores, former state liquor stores, discount stores and, now, liquor super stores sell booze in Washington.

The BevMo store in Tacoma is located in a former video store across from Costco at 2330 S. 37th St. The store has about two dozen employees.

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