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Proposition 1's impact adds up as stores stock coolers with beer, wine

By Richard Yeakley
July 14, 2013 at 11 p.m.

The 18 grocery and convenience stores that have received permits to sell beer and wine for off-premise consumption since the May 11 election - and the five still waiting for their permits - have created a quick boost to the Longview economy.

While many of the stores declined last week to disclose the amount they were spending to stock beer and wine, building permits filed with the city of Longview show thousands of dollars have been spent in connection with getting the stores' beer and wine ready.

Brookshire's of Longview, at 3354 Gilmer Road, and Super 1 Foods, at 2301 W. Loop 281, both operated by Brookshire Grocery Co., have building plans valued at $47,000 and $31,000 respectively.

At Brookshire's of Longview, the work will include an exterior canopy, an entire new row of interior beverage coolers and minor relocation of other furniture/fixtures.

Super 1 Foods' remodel will also include installation of interior beverage coolers and relocation of minor furniture/fixtures.

A representative from Walmart did not respond to a request for an interview. However, both Wal-mart retail stores and Sam's Club in Longview are currently offering warm beverages.

No request has been filed for a permit to install additional refrigerated units; however, if the company chooses to sell cold beverages it would likely cost a similar amount to that being spent at the Brookshire-owned stores.

Meanwhile, Albertsons Market will undergo a renovation valued at $400,000, according to a request for a building permit filed with the City of Longview.

A company spokeswoman declined to speak on the amount spent to make the store ready to sell beer and wine, and did not respond to a request to explain the extent of the interior/exterior remodel.

The flood of new permits came after a May election in which Longview voters handily supported the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption in historically dry north and west areas of town.

The final tally was 2,022 votes in favor of Prop. 1, while 1,181 voted against it, for a margin of 63 percent in favor. The only voting district opposed to the measure was District 1 in West Longview.



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