As the legal battle over liquor privatization rages on, big-name retail chains are planning for the future by submitting applications to begin selling spirits in their stores.
Washington state voters last November, giving private retailers the authority to sell hard liquor for consumption off-premises. Businesses that apply for the new spirits retail liquor license must have at least 10,000 enclosed square feet of space, among other requirements.
According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board, stores that already sell beer and wine can add a spirits retail liquor license to their current license if they meet the requirements. The annual fee for the new license is $166.
In Bellevue, Bartell Drugs, Fred Meyer, Target and Cost Plus World Market have recent pending applications for spirits retail licenses, according to the liquor control board's online list. No non-contract stores in Bellevue have yet been approved.
Here is the list of applicants, as of March 21:
More stores are expected to apply for the license in the coming months. Retail businesses that obtain licenses will be able to sell hard liquor beginning June 1, pending a possible appeal to the Washington State Supreme Court.