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No selling booze with the bananas for most B.C. grocery stores – though two in south Vancouver can


Despite the hype surrounding the announcement that grocery stores will be allowed to sell booze, only two Vancouver stores qualify under a recent restriction.

Earlier this month the B.C. government declared grocery stores could sell alcohol using a ‘store-within-a-store’ model that would require a separate checkout. According to the government, this was to “safeguard health and safety and ensure restricted access to alcohol by minors.”

Simon Howden/
Simon Howden/

While consumers prepared for some one-stop shopping, the government released an update forbidding any grocery-based liquor stores from operating within one kilometre of existing standalone liquor shops.

As reported in The Vancouver Sun, the only two stores in Vancouver that fit that parameter are the Choices outlets on West 16th and West 57th avenues.  Both are located in the south Vancouver area, as is a Safeway at that won’t be selling alcohol.

Neither Safeway nor Choices responded to multiple interview requests.

Students appreciate easy access to alcohol

Devan Fast, a Langara health sciences student, isn’t concerned that so few stores will benefit.

“I don’t think [the new rule will] make a difference,” said Fast. “There’s usually a liquor store pretty close to most grocery stores anyways, a couple of blocks away at most.”

Paul Lichtblau, a Langara geography sciences student, said he was looking forward to the new integrated stores.

“I think it’s a matter of time,” said Lichtblau. “Cuts down on travel time to the liquor store.”

Reported by Erin Boe



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