The heart of the CD is looking like it might be a bit dry come June 1, the first day that retailers not owned by the state can sell liquor. The Red Apple at 23rd and Jackson and the Walgreens across the street are the only stores in the heart of the neighborhood that have applied for a license as of March 1.
I-1183, which voters passed in November, requires retailers to be at least 10,000 square feet and includes a formidable hurdle to any entity that wants to apply for an exception. Where neighborhoods like Capitol Hill have lots of large grocery stores (and, therefore, lots of license applications), many CD beer and wine retailers are smaller.
Grocery Outlet at MLK and Union has not yet decided whether to sell liquor, but they are not pursuing it at this time according to a store manager.
So that means, unless more applications come in, 23rd and Jackson will be the only place to buy booze south of Madison, west of 12th and north of the Mount Baker QFC on Rainier. The Safeway on Madison will sell liquor, and Central Co-op’s Madison Market has applied for a permit, though Capitol Hill Seattle says they have not yet decided whether they will sell or not. Viet-Wah Supermarket at 10th and Jackson has also applied for a license.
The Central District voted heavily against I-1183 in November, as did most of Seattle’s most densely-populated neighborhoods:
Light red means “No.” Dark red means “No” by 60% or more.
CHS also reports that craft distilleries, like 14th and Union’s Oola Distillery, can now sell their locally-made booze directly to bars. So you may see their vodka and gin on bar shelves around the neighborhood.
Here’s a city-wide map of licenses as of March 1, via CHS.
View Seattle Spirits Retailers in a full screen map