Liquor in stores tested: a success

It seems like several years ago the state was intending to experiment with selling liquor in selected stores with the intent of perhaps expanding such sales throughout the state. I have not heard anything further — have you?

— Luigi B., Medford

You're correct, Luigi. The state started a pilot project in 2004 at three stores — two in Washington County and one in Deschutes County. They were grocery stores that had liquor stores inside operated kind of like a bank or coffee shop found in supermarkets. No minors were allowed inside unless accompanied by an adult.

The project was successful, said Christie Scott, spokeswoman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The store-within-a-store idea worked economically, had no adverse impact on public safety and received a positive response from the public, she said.

Scott said that because of the success of this project, the OLCC considers the idea an alternative to the stand-alone liquor stores found throughout the state. It is up to the liquor agents, who operate like independent contractors, to specify the location of their stores. Putting a liquor store in a store would require the approval of the grocery store, of course, said Scott. The three original stores continue to operate.

Oregon created the Liquor Control Commission after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 to regulate the sale of liquor.

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