Danville Walmart plans to add liquor store next year

Published 10:36 am Thursday, October 5, 2017

Superstore must first acquire quota license from existing business

Walmart plans to add a liquor store at its Danville location next year, but it will need another liquor business in the city to close before it could open.

At Wednesday’s Planning and Zoning meeting, Walmart gained site plan approval for an approximately 5,000-square-foot addition on its front right corner. P&Z Director Steve Hunter said the liquor store plan meets all standards for construction — it will eliminate a small number of parking spaces on the side of Walmart, but parking will still be “overbuilt to our standard,” he said.

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Anne Hatfield with Walmart Media Relations confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the company plans to build a separate building “next to our Walmart Supercenter in Danville that will sell wine, spirits and mixers.”

“This new building will have its own separate entrance,” Hatfield wrote. “We anticipate construction to begin in early 2018 and look forward to begin offering customers this convenience later in 2018.”

A separate entrance is required by state law, which prohibits package liquor stores from existing inside grocery stores.

Based on its population, Danville is allowed to have six package liquor licenses — and that’s how many it currently has, confirmed Bridgette Lester, director of Danville Codes Enforcement.

The six license-holders are Kroger, Liquor Barn, Liquor Mart, Chill’s Quick Stop, Royal Liquor and Jane Barleycorn’s Market and Bar.

Asked if Walmart was aware it would need to acquire one of the existing licenses, Hatfield said “we do know and we’re in the process of purchasing a license.”

Walmart is not releasing which liquor store it may attempt to purchase a license from, Hatfield said.

Lester said something similar occurred when Kroger needed to acquire a package liquor license and it bought the license previously owned by the Bottle Shoppe, which had operated on Hustonville Road.

To use a liquor license held by someone else is a two-step process, Lester said: Walmart will need to purchase the license from a current business, then apply through the state to change the address and information on the license.

It is possible for the city to request from the state ABC office an increase in the number of package liquor licenses it has available, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen here.

“It’s a long process. It’s not a simple process,” Lester said. “I don’t have anybody asking for that.”

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
From left, Planning and Zoning Commission members William Baas, Susie Kelly and Wendy Rochester participate in Wednesday’s Planning and Zoning meeting, where they approved a site plan for a liquor store addition to the Danville Walmart.