Business

2 more Atascadero stores could soon sell alcohol

The Atascadero City Council has approved beer and wine sales at the 99 Cents Only Store in the Vons shopping center.
The Atascadero City Council has approved beer and wine sales at the 99 Cents Only Store in the Vons shopping center.

Atascadero residents may soon be able to buy alcohol from two additional city retailers.

The 99 Cents Only Store and Cigarettes 4 Less have both applied for Alcoholic Beverage Control licenses to sell beer and wine for off-site consumption, according to a city staff report.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved alcohol sales at both stores, according to Terrie Banish, deputy city manager.

Council members were required to consider the stores’ alcohol sales because the retailers are located in areas that have maxed out their allowable number of licenses. The 99 Cents Only Store’s corporate office could not be reached for comment.

The 99 Cents Only Store has been in business since 2013 and is located in the Vons shopping center near Highway 41 and El Camino Real. If its license is approved, 99 Cents Only will sell alcohol along with other merchandise and groceries.

Less than 2 percent of the store’s floor area will be dedicated to alcohol displays, according to the staff report.

Although Vons and Rite Aid also sell alcohol nearby, the staff report said the Atascadero Police Department determined the public safety impact would be “negligible” based on the past number of calls for service in the area.

Cigarettes 4 Less, located in the Kmart shopping center off El Camino Real, has been in business since 1998. The nearest retailer selling alcohol for off-site consumption is the Circle K gas station across El Camino Real, according to the staff report.

Owner Vinod Patel said the statewide tax hike on tobacco products that took effect in April has hurt his sales, causing him to look for new products to offer customers.

California voters in November approved Proposition 56, which raised the state tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes from 87 cents to $2.87.

“Tobacco sales now are declining,” Patel said. “We need something new to survive.”

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseyholden27

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