Drinking While Grocery Shopping: Coming to a Store Near You?

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VinePair discusses the recent trend in grocery stores offering in-store “pubs” or bars that allow customers to drink in the middle of their shopping experience. As the article notes, the exact format of these bars depends on each state’s alcohol licensing laws:

[C]hains like Wegmans, Whole Foods, Kroger, and California-based Baron’s have rolled out a slew of amenities to get “real” shoppers in the door.

Chief among them is the in-store bar. Shopping drives most of us to drink, it seems; and savvy grocery chains figure they might as well capture those dollars by turning supermarkets into destinations for excellent craft beer and wine…

Different states’ laws dictate how these in-store pubs can work. Depending on the state’s open-carry laws, some allow patrons to sip and shop, while others are partitioned off in specific areas for over-21 shoppers only.

“We have a specific tasting license in five out of seven stores,” Shemirani says. “In our sixth store we pull a one-day event permit, and in our seventh store we have a conditional-use permit. These are all different based on store configurations and the local rules and regulations. The tasting areas must be separated and secured from the rest of the store. Of course, we check all IDs and anyone under 21 is never allowed, including infants.”…

Read the rest here.