Proposed liquor store in Granby sparks spirited debate
A coalition of merchants calling themselves the Downtown Granby Business Association is opposing a liquor store proposed for the new strip mall near City Market.”We just think we have enough” liquor stores, said Patrick Brower, a paid consultant for the group. “There’s (only) so many dollars up here being spent. Right now, that’s going downhill.””My gut feeling is if this comes in, we’re going to lose (an existing) liquor store,” he added.According to the application for the liquor license, the proposed store at 1131 Thompson Road, #102, would be known as Granby Marketplace Liquors LLC.A drawing submitted with the application shows that the 3,500-square-foot store would have a main cooler with approximately 22 doors in addition to three small soda coolers, four large shelves in the middle of the floor, and one 30-foot-long shelf along the wall opposite the main cooler.The business would be owned by Andrew E. Buettner of Denver. Buettner did not return phone calls made this week and last week to the number listed in the application.”I know of no reason why this application should not be approved,” Granby Police Chief Bill Housley wrote in a letter to Town Clerk Deb Hess in late October after he had conducted a background check of the applicant. Such checks are standard procedure in liquor license applications.
Bob Anderson, owner of R&J Liquor, 88 East Agate Ave., Granby, said the two liquor stores downtown produce pedestrian traffic.That helps keep downtown vibrant, he said, which will help all businesses in town, both downtown and near City Market.”We give everybody something,” said Gary Jahn, owner of Spirits-N-Things, 413 E. Agate Ave., Granby, about his and other local business’s contributions to community causes.An out-of-town business might not do the same, he noted. Jahn, too, expressed concerns about sharing business with another competitor, adding that his business had expanded for 12 years straight.”This year, however, is another story,” he said. “For the first time, our business is going the other way. … We feel we can ill afford to slice this pie thinner.”Anderson noted that during the past year, he has invested $100,000 to expand his business, and he hired only local help.
In its literature and in the petition the group is circulating, opponents of the liquor store cite its location next to a McDonald’s as cause to deny the license.”I’ve never seen a liquor store next to a McDonald’s,” Brower said. “It’s just an unfortunate alignment.””We also have serious concerns about the wisdom of locating the proposed new liquor store next to a McDonald’s – a place where youth are likely to congregate,” says the petition circulating in Granby under the title “Our Liquor Needs Are Being Met.”Brower said two weeks ago that, although he had not conducted a formal count, he thought as many as 1,000 people had signed the petition.When asked why the coalition is not opposing the liquor license Kum & Go, which has applied for its Granby store on the same grounds, Brower said simply, because it’s downtown.The Granby Town Board, sitting as the quasi-judicial Granby Liquor Licensing Authority, will consider the Kum & Go application at the same meeting it will rule on the Granby Marketplace Liquor license.According to Brower, liquor stores are different than other types of businesses in that they are considered a “regulated marketplace” and as such, are subject to decisions by licensing authorities that liquor needs of the community are already being met by existing establishments.That is not the case for the McDonald’s, for instance, nor for any other retail establishment that might decide to locate somewhere within what Brower said is the 200,000 square feet of planned retail space that has already been approved near City Market.In addition to the two downtown liquor stores, Brower said the coalition he is representing includes a liquor store in the Inn at SilverCreek (which is not within the town limits) as well as Country Ace Hardware, Brickhouse 40, Mad Munchies, Maverick’s, Java Lava, The Paper Clip, Budget Tackle, and Ian’s Mountain Bakery.
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