Geoff Guertzmacher and his wife, Lindsey, who live in the Tri-Cities, are delaying plans to open a Growler Guys craft beer shop on Spokane’s South Hill after learning their state liquor license application was being held up because of an objection.
Meanwhile, another Tri-Cities couple says they will open a Growler Guys franchise on Spokane’s North Side. Dean Jackson and his wife, Deana, plan to open a Growler Guys outlet on Aug. 1 in a 1,600-square-foot space in the Heritage Village Shopping Center, at 9329 N. Newport Highway. Jackson says he plans to hire a full-time manager as well as three part-time employees.
A growler is a container that is purchased only once and then refilled with a microbrew or cider. At Growler Guys, growlers ranging from 16 to 64 ounces in volume are sold for about $9 and up.
Guertzmacher, who with his wife opened a Growler Guys in Richland, Wash., last November, says he had planned to open the beer-sampling, growler-filling store at 2933 E. 29th in Spokane when he received word from the Washington State Liquor Control Board that the Southside Christian Church, located at 2934 E. 27th, had objected to the license application.
In its letter to the liquor control board, the church said its ministry attracts families with children of all ages, supports a large and growing youth program, and sponsors a recovery program at its facility for those who struggle with addictive behavior, including alcohol abuse.
Guertzmacher says he will withdraw the application for the location on 29th Avenue and will submit a new application to the liquor board for another license, which will take about 60 to 90 days to be processed after a new location is chosen.
“We don’t want to be where someone objects to us being there,” he says. “It’s not good for business.”
Guertzmacher says he has been looking at several other potential sites in Spokane, specifically on the South Hill, which is where he would prefer to open the store. He says other possibilities include the South Regal area where a new Target store is being built, as well as the South Perry District and South Monroe close to Huckleberry’s Natural Market.
Guertzmacher says Growler Guys has been so popular at the Richland location that he decided to expand franchise operations into the Spokane market.
“Spokane seems underserved with beer-to-go in growlers,” he says.
The Guertzmachers’ Growler Guys outlet here will employ one full-time manager and three part-time beer stewards once it opens, he says.
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