By Adam Pagnucco.
For many years, most grocery stores in Montgomery County have not been allowed to sell beer and wine, a prohibition designed to protect package stores. Most other counties in Maryland have similar rules, all set down in state law. Delegate Lily Qi has introduced a state bill loosening such restrictions, one of many efforts over the years to allow grocery stores to sell beer and wine. When the county council met to consider whether to support Qi’s bill, some council members expressed concern that it would harm small beer and wine stores. After all, if consumers could purchase beer and wine at a grocery store along with food, how could package stores compete with that?
In fact, the allegation that grocery stores would put package stores out of business if they could sell alcohol is a myth. Why do I say that?
Because there are a few grocery stores in MoCo that are allowed to sell beer and wine and package stores operate near them.
Consider the following six MoCo grocery stores that have off premise liquor licenses. Look at the maps below to see how close they are to package stores. Both the grocery stores and the package stores appear in purple ovals.
Giant Supermarket, 11221 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring
White Oak Convenience Store, which has an off-premise liquor license, is directly behind the only Giant in the county that is allowed to sell liquor.
Safeway Supermarket, 3333 Spartan Rd, Olney
Young Gourmet Beer and Wine, which has an off-premise license, is just a few blocks away from the only Safeway in the county that is allowed to sell liquor. Brew Belly and Olney Beer and Wine, which can sell alcohol both on premise and off, are also nearby.
Bestway Supermarket, 8540 Piney Branch Rd, Silver Spring
Flower Deli, which has an off premise license, is right around the corner from Bestway. Long Branch Beer and Wine is just a few blocks to the east.
Sniders Super Foods, 1936 Seminary Rd, Silver Spring
Sniders is within walking distance of two package stores: Seminary Beer and Wine and Spring Beer and Wine.
Dawson’s Market, 225 N. Washington St, Rockville
Dawson’s is within walking distance of Tiger Beer, Wine and Deli, which has an off premise license.
Shalom Kosher, 1361 Lamberton Dr, Silver Spring
Shalom Kosher is within footsteps of Kemp Mill Beer, Wine and Deli. The Google photo below shows just how close the grocery store is to the beer and wine store.
The allegation that allowing grocery stores to sell beer and wine will put package stores out of business is a MYTH. And now this myth is BUSTED.