Smith's Grocery Store Wants To Open A Craft Beer Tavern In Store

Sep 24, 2019

Credit DABC / DABC

If Park City’s Smith’s grocery store gets its way, you’ll be able to stop and have a beer while shopping in the store. The Department of Alcoholic Beverages Commission will consider the application at its next meeting in October. 

The Park City location would be the third Smith’s store to have a Tavern license, if the DABC approves it next month at their commission meeting. According to DABC Director of Communication and Public Information, Terry Wood, the grocery store wants to sell craft beer from tap. A tavern license would allow for beer to be sold exclusively, without any food service requirement.

“Yes, the commission will decide October 29th for the application for Smith’s in Park City to have a tavern in their store. It is something new that we haven’t faced before. And if they do meet all the requirements for a license such as being able to keep minors out of the area and, other access requirements, they will most likely get their license.”

Smith’s corporate development vice president told the DABC that the clientele in Park City is different from elsewhere in the state. Wood says he assured the commission they have the experience to ensure children are not able to access the tavern area.

They told the commission they want to sell 16 different craft beers with seating to accommodate 25 people. People who enjoy craft beer often want to purchase a growler which is a small container to hold the beer. The commission is worried about how to address this and the possibility that the beer purchasers would be walking through the grocery store where children are present.

“That’s one of the things that will have to be worked out in the next 30 days, before the next commission meeting. The situation with Growlers. It was brought up by the Smith’s people and our compliance department said we’ll have to look into that. There may be a little bit of difficulty with walking through the store with a bottle of beer.”

If approved the tavern hours would be 11 AM to 10 PM. The location in the store is not finalized according to Wood. One commissioner who shops there frequently has concerns about it being too close to Starbucks.

“And he says during the winter season, especially, at the Starbuck’s there. There’s a lot of young people lining up to get a hot chocolate before a day of skiing or something of that nature. And, usually that line kind of, as they’re waiting for their coffee of their chocolate, wraps around, near the area where they would like to put this tavern in the store. The Smith’s people said they may look at how the Starbuck’s is configured so as not to allow that line to get right over there next to the tavern.”

Smith’s told the commission they will have 4-foot-high walls and a gate to enter the area. KPCW called Smith’s corporate management for a comment but did not receive a call back in time for this report. There are other grocery stores in Utah that hold licenses to serve alcohol. Smiths currently serves beer in their Los Alamos, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada stores.

The DABC meetings are open to the public and are held the last Tuesday of each month. The October 29th meeting starts at 10 am at 1625 South 900 West in Salt Lake City.