Spokane Journal of Business

Good Spirits plans stores on North Side, in Spokane Valley

Five Mile, Valley outlets slated to open this month; additional locations eyed

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Wenatchee, Wash.-based Good Spirits LLC, which was established just before voters passed Initiative 1183 to privatize liquor sales last November, plans to open two new Spokane-area liquor superstores in the coming weeks.

Ted Eaton, Good Spirits' Wenatchee-based general manager, says one of those stores will be located on Spokane's North Side, and the other will be in Spokane Valley. Good Spirits opened its first store here last month, at 1322 W. Third downtown.

Eaton says the company's North Side store will open later this month in the Five Mile Shopping Center, at 1804 W. Francis, in a 12,000-square-foot space that formerly was occupied by a Hollywood Video movie rental outlet.

"We chose that location because at one time there was a state liquor store in the area that did well, but they moved that store to the Indian Trail neighborhood," Eaton says. "We wanted it to be (at Five Mile) because of all the traffic."

Good Spirits will open its Spokane Valley store at 10001 E. Sprague, where a state-operated liquor store had operated, Eaton says. He says that store was auctioned off earlier this year in a state-run auction in which bidders competed to buy the inventory and licensing rights for the 167 liquor stores across Washington. Eleven of those state-operated liquor stores were in the Spokane area.

Good Spirits wasn't the successful bidder for that liquor store, but Eaton says the commercial building's landlord and the individual who'd bought the store's ownership rights disagreed over a lease. The landlord instead offered to negotiate a lease for the space with Good Spirits.

The liquor retailer plans to increase that location's sales floor space from 5,000 square feet to more than 10,000 square feet, Eaton says.

Good Spirits' store that opened last month also is a former state-run outlet. The company bought the 6,500-square-foot store's inventory and ownership rights through the state-run auction, he says.

That store's employees were retained through the transaction, Eaton adds. Between all three stores, he expects Good Spirits will employ 14 to 16 people here.

He says the company plans to open other stores here and is considering the South Hill or Airway Heights for the next outlet.

Owned by Wenatchee-based real estate developer Dave Mehelich and his wife, Susan, Good Spirits also operates one store in Wenatchee and one in Yakima, with a second outlet in the latter city now in the planning stages, Eaton says. By the end of this year, he expects the company to have six or seven stores across Eastern Washington, the main market area in which it plans to operate. Eventually, he says the company would like to own about 10 stores.

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