Bloomingdale’s Wants To Put A Liquor Store In Their SF Location
Readers of a website called Broke-Ass Stuart may not do much shopping at the luxury department store Bloomingdale’s in the San Francisco Westfield Centre. But we might pop in a little more frequently soon, as BrokeAssStuart.com has learned that this Bloomingdale’s location is applying for a Type 21 California Liquor License.
We learned this because it was a completely public agenda item on the Tuesday, April 6 San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting.
“Bloomingdales would like to operate a liquor store to include Beer, Wine and Distilled spirits sales, located at 845 Market St.,” says an email from the SFPD ABC Liaison Unit presented among Bloomingdale’s liquor license application materials to the supervisors Tuesday afternoon.
The attorney representing Bloomingdale’s Jaclyn J. Hirschfeld Alpizar said at a March 24 board subcommittee meeting, “We are looking to enhance the high-end shopper’s experience at our locations. We currently in our Home section provide high-end wine and bar accessories, and we would like to provide high-end alcohol as well, for a one-stop shop.”
YES, SOME BLOOMIES DO SELL BOOZE
Bloomingdale’s currently has four active liquor licenses statewide, as seen in the License Lookup results above from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The 845 Market Street Westfield Centre license would give them their fifth.
What they’re requesting here is a Type 21 Liquor License, which allows take-out only sales of alcohol. It’s essentially like a liquor aisle at a grocery store. You can’t drink on the premises, but minors are allowed to walk the aisle. The Board of Supervisors asked for a condition that they can only sell full-size bottles of beer, liquor, and wine, no “airplane shooters” or single beer cans or 40-ouncers.
IS OUR BLOOMINGDALE’S GOING TO SELL BOOZE?
The SF Board of Supervisors is not in the business of handing out liquor licenses. That responsibility falls solely on the California ABC. And right now, the Bloomingdale’s ABC permit is still pending and under review. But the ABC apparently asked the Board for a recommendation on whether this license would “serve the public convenience or necessity.”
The board voted 11-0 in favor of the Bloomingdale’s liquor license, so their application does move forward.
THE HISTORY OF LUXURY DEPARTMENT STORES SELLING LIQUOR
There is a fun, history-repeats-itself angle to this story, because the flagship New York City Bloomingdale’s once had a premier wine shop until corporate headquarters shut that down in the early 1970s.
Admittedly, I was today years old when I learned that Macy’s owns Bloomingdale’s, and has since 1930. And according to the New York Times, the flagship Macy’s in New York used to have a liquor store and in fact held the first-ever post-Prohibition liquor license in New Ypork City until they closed that liquor store in 1979.
“It’s a tragedy,” a former Macy’s employee told the Times back in 1979. “They were the preeminent wine and spirits shop in New York City and they let it go to pot.”
But Macy’s told the Times they did it for a different reason: “We are expanding our men’s wear section and needed the space.”