23rd and Union Liquor Store will stay open under new ownership, holding kickoff raffle

The State of Washington will close their liquor store May 30 and turn over the keys to two entrepreneurial young men and the team of old and new faces who will run the shop starting June 1. The shop will only be closed one day for the transition.

Longtime Manager Carrie Halterman will remain the manager of the store, and she said she is excited to get out from under the Liquor Board’s “micromanaging” and start organizing the shop how she wants and buying a wider range of products not available before.

“When we start to order, we’ll be able to get things like half pints, things we haven’t seen in Washington,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s gonna be fun and different.”

But not too different at first. Halterman said all the staff will be familiar faces behind the store’s counters, and their first priority during the changeover is to keep the doors open. But over time, the tired Liquor Control Board look will morph into a new, personalized neighborhood store, according to Halterman and Khang Tran.

Tran’s job is to be something of a general manager for the new owners’ endeavor. Michale and Daniel Beraki, who are brothers, purchased the 23rd and Union store as well as a liquor store in Lynnwood. But the brothers already have their hands full running East African Money Wiring on MLK just south of Rainier, so they hired Tran to manage the liquor stores.

Halterman wants people to be prepared for some sticker shock when the store changes hands. Prices could increase as much as 25 percent, she said. But that is due to the new taxes on liquor that were part of I-1183, which voters approved last fall. Prices will increase everywhere liquor is sold, she said.

The official grand reopening of the store is June 2, but the doors will be open June 1. To celebrate, they are holding a raffle. For every $25 you spend between June 2 and June 10, you get a ticket. At the end, there will be a drawing for at $1,000 prize. Could be a good excuse to buy the good stuff.

13 thoughts on “23rd and Union Liquor Store will stay open under new ownership, holding kickoff raffle

  1. I had another conversation with Omari today and it sounds like Bangasser (owner of the whole corner at 23rd & Union) plans to have a “meeting” to take ideas from the community per the future of the corner. Now this needs to be confirmed but the word is that during the CD garden tour he will have a space set up for people to write down ideas and submit them to him. Frankly I think that’s all assbackwards, Bangasser should draw up 5 different options for the property and then set up a tent with cake and water/coffee and invite the neighborhood to come and take a look and THEN ask for our thoughts. That way we have something to go on instead of everyone throwing ideas everywhere and most getting pissed they weren’t “listened to”. Frankly anything is better than what we have there now so go at it Mr. Bangasser, make the hood proud with a new, forward thinking space that we can all gather around and support.

  2. With all the recent violence, I am saddened by the thought of the liquor store staying open. With alcohol comes violence and the CD needs less violence. I am not sure how to make the situation any better.

  3. Even worse. The guy who baught the place is pushing to divide the store and have a pawn shop next door. Let’s see. Pawn Grandma’s ring, buy gun. Go next door and buy a gallon of rum. Oh how pleasant that is going to be.

  4. This liquor store won’t last with Safeway and Trader Joe’s down the street with much better purchasing power that will translate into savings to the consumer. I will not be supporting this little mini mart liquor store and hope that is goes out of business.

  5. I should also state I have been and will continue to support med mix and neighbor lady. They are positive additions to the neighborhood while the liquor store needs to go away.

  6. Hmmmmm. What are the odds Bangasser can get financing to do anything?

    I’m pretty sure he has no idea what he wants to do with the property, and paying someone else to come up with something for him is not his style. If someone from the neighborhood comes up with something for him for free…

  7. good luck getting Safeway and Trader Joe’s to agree to not sell booze.

  8. If the owner is smart (though if he is trying to put in pawn next door….) he’ll be more of a boutique store and not try to compete with Safeway, which from what my husband says is only carrying the cheap stuff.

  9. There is no evidence of booze being involved in any of the recent violence. Mostly it has been mixing easily available firepower with someone nuts enough to pull the trigger in a crowd.