Business

99 Cents Only Store in Atascadero will soon sell beer and wine

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.

Two Atascadero retailers on Tuesday night received the green light to sell beer and wine along El Camino Real.

City Council members voted 4-0 to approve requests from the 99 Cents Only Store and Cigarettes 4 Less to sell alcohol for off-site consumption, according to Terrie Banish, deputy city manager.

Both businesses have applied for Alcoholic Beverage Control licenses, which the City Council was required to consider because the retailers are located in areas that have maxed out their allowable number of permits.

The 99 Cents Only Store’s corporate office could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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. Vons and Rite Aid also sell alcohol nearby, according to a city staff report.

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.

The Atascadero Police Department determined the public safety impact of both businesses selling alcohol would be “negligible” based on the past number of calls for service in the areas where they’re located.

Vinod Patel, owner of Cigarettes 4 Less, 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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