DENVER (CBS4) – There is a new push to change the law and allow Colorado supermarkets to sell liquor, an idea that mom-and-pop liquor stores have been fighting for years.

The liquor store argument is that if grocery stores could sell, you never would have heard of your favorite brands.

Chain stores can sell beer and wine at one of their locations, but not liquor. Supermarkets want to change that, and at stores across the state, customers are met by a petition sign. It leads to an online petition where people can sign up to get expanded liquor sales on the ballot.

“I would support it just because it’s convenient for people,” said one shopper.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

State law only allows for one liquor license per name, which is why the trader Joe’s on Colorado Boulevard sells wine, but the others do not.

Big name grocers, many of whom are based out of state, have called on abolishing the law for years.

Ron Vaughn disagrees, and said change in the liquor laws would be devastating, “It’s an important point that our profits stay in Colorado and we spend it locally and we hire locally.”

His store, Argonaut Wine & Liquor, is a mecca for varied libations — from the easy to find to the rarely produced. Vaughn said grocery store sales would close 700 liquor stores and shed 10,000 jobs across the state.

A sign in support of local liquor stores (credit: CBS)

A sign in support of local liquor stores (credit: CBS)

“The grocery chains are not going to hire more people to service the same square footage in a liquor store. They’ll reset the shelf and shorten up the chips and the diapers and add the liquor in,” said Vaughn.

Liquor stores now find themselves on the offensive, hoping customers will remember the brands they love over the convenience they want.


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