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On liquor and superstores

#SpoCOOL / Spokane /

We've kept our mouths shut about I-1183, largely because we have -- in the immortal words of the Stones -- mixed emotions about the whole thing. Deregulating liquor sales is in and of itself fine, but the ten thousand square feet restriction seems incredibly arbitrary to us. Wonderful as it is for Shell only to be able to provide Bud, but not vodka, to bums and sixteen year olds, we can't help but think boutique liquor stores would benefit us more than liquor superstores.

Of course, we can shout and complain about it as much as we like, but the superstores are coming according to a Spokesman article. Total Wine is first in line, looking at opening two stores in north Spokane and the Valley. I'll leave the snarky stereotyping up to you.

Meanwhile, a look at the Liquor License Stalker will reveal that every grocery store ever (of a certain size) is intending to sell spirits.

Our take on the whole thing: With liquor superstores you'll probably see somewhat of a price reduction on ordinary brands of liquor. However, if these types of stores in other states are anything to go by, the selection of the actual good stuff tends to be minimal, and shelf space is reserved for a multitude of replaceable middle-of-the-road style brands. BevMo! is doing good business following that model.

That would be all well and good, of course, if we had the opportunity to shop at, you know, specialized stores, It's still a big unknown if a place like Huckleberry's will have the want or the knowledge to step up and truly embrace this as an opportunity.

The future for liquor sales, then, seems to be a bit up in the air. We have our doubts 1183 will do much as far as an improvement on quality selection goes. But hey, $5 off Absolut...

Have any input on the whole 1183 thing? We're (as always) genuinely curious about thoughts and opinions, so tweet us @SpoCOOL if you'd like.