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Despite vote, not everyone happy with shuttering state liquor stores

Charla Bear
People shopping for alcohol will no longer see this sign on liquor stores. A lot of people have mixed feelings about that.

Now that voters have kicked the state out of the liquor store business, some people are looking forward to changes in how they buy booze. Others, though, say the decision is not cause for celebration. 

When state-run liquor stores close this summer, Patrick Bradley won’t be sad to say goodbye. He thinks the prices are high, the customer service lacking, and the limited hours a hassle.

“I think there’s a lot more convenience to going to the supermarket and being able to buy hard liquor at the same time you may buy a bottle of wine at the same time you may buy your groceries for an evening meal.”

He says he ran in and out of the store simply called, “Number 77,” in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood just as fast as he could. That’s not the case for Kristian Nielsen.

“I’ve lived here for 35 years. I know the people who work here. I’m empathetic that they’re loosing their jobs. I saw the news, and I decided we need to start to take a collection for the workers here at the Queen Anne store.”

For Antoinette Williams, it’s not time to worry over job losses. Or public safety, revenue or any other concerns people have raised. 

“You never can tell how this is actually going to affect anyone at this point. We don’t know what price we’re actually paying in the long run, at least I don’t.”

That’s why she’s on the fence about whether buying liquor from private retailers will be better or worse than it is now. But after eight decades of state controlled stores, it will at least be different.

Charla joined us in January, 2010 and is excited to be back in Seattle after several years in Washington, DC, where she was a director and producer for NPR. Charla has reported from three continents and several outlets including Marketplace, San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. She has a master of journalism from University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in architecture from University of Washington.
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