Liquor Returns to Wallingford

It’s official. We just got word from Anne Radford at the Washington State Liquor Control Board that they’ll be re-opening a liquor store in Wallingford at…118 N.E. 45th St! That’s where the Hollywood Video used to be, right across from Dick’s.

On the grim side, this means that there will be a full service liquor store just blocks from the I-5 entrance ramps, where homeless alcoholics have established permanent residence. On the bright side, Dick’s milkshakes + Cointreau = Crazy Delicious.

Anne says they anticipate opening on May 28th.

  1. John Scott Tynes said,

    Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we’re free at last!

    Mon, March 8 at 1:29 pm
  2. Rolf said,

    good times. as a new washington resident, it seems insane to me that they still have state liquor stores. i’m originally from ohio, one of the least progressive states around, and they dumped state liquor stores about 10 years ago. time to get with the program, Washington.

    but until they figure out how antiquated they are, i’m glad i’ll be able to get my buzz on without going all the way to northgate.

    Mon, March 8 at 1:57 pm
  3. brady said,

    it will be a larger than typical liquor store. Very well stocked i am sure.

    Mon, March 8 at 2:07 pm
  4. CindyY said,

    Rejoicing! I may never have to drive again. You reckon the entire video store will be converted to liquor store? That would be epic!

    Mon, March 8 at 3:07 pm
  5. kerrizor said,

    Northgate? That’s a trek – UVillage and Ballard are closer or easier :)

    Mon, March 8 at 4:45 pm
  6. Aaron said,

    Baby Jesus heard me!!

    Mon, March 8 at 5:08 pm
  7. said,


    Mon, March 8 at 5:22 pm
  8. Robert said,

    Being a homeowner just a couple of blocks north of this I’m concerned about the Dick’s, Liquor Store, 7-11 trifecta. We already get our share of loud drunk people walking 1st Ave between Dick’s and the 7-11. This will surely just increase that number.

    Mon, March 8 at 6:14 pm
  9. Lisa said,

    I have to say I’m torn about this, too. We’ve been dealing with the drunks and all of the attendant behavior and damage up on 50th as they make their way from the offramp at the 5 over to the 7-11 or the 50th Street Market to buy their cheap fortified booze. I’m wondering if this new store will increase their roaming area and will have them infiltrating even more neighborhoods. I’m not a fan of state liquor stores in the first place (whose idea was that again?), but since Washington has them, at least this one will now be close enough to walk to when we need stock for “Margarita Night”!

    Mon, March 8 at 7:48 pm
  10. Maggie said,

    Add me to the list of Neighbors Who Aren’t Entirely Thrilled. The indigents who hang out near the 50th St exit are a legitimate problem to neighbors in that area. I’m also concerned about potential increased foot traffic from highway panhandlers and a late night crowd.

    Dick’s Drive-In, the taco truck, the liquor store, and Puffin Glass.
    East Wallingford: The “Guilty Pleasures” side of Wallingford.

    Mon, March 8 at 9:51 pm
  11. Jim said,

    I think there already is a bit of a problem in the area with the drunks especially closer to the freeway ramp. A viable business instead of a dark store should help, The drunks urinating on the sidewalk need to be addressed anyway. Expect more agressive panhandlers, it was nice for us on this side of the hood when the liquer store at Stoneway was replaced with a well kept business.

    Mon, March 8 at 9:56 pm
  12. Wallyhood said,

    Just in terms of the “late night crowds” concerns: remember that all liquor stores close by 10 pm, many close earlier than that. They haven’t decided on the hours yet for this branch…

    Mon, March 8 at 10:04 pm
  13. Warrior-One Martial Arts Suppply said,

    Wow, that is a huge space for a liquor store. Should be interesting to see how it works out.

    Mon, March 8 at 10:05 pm
  14. DOUG. said,

    There’s now bound to be an increase in auto traffic at this location. I’d love to see a pedestrian-triggered stop light and a crosswalk at 45th and 2nd. Much like the one at 45th and Sunnyside.

    Mon, March 8 at 10:15 pm
  15. protected static said,

    Aggressive panhandling shouldn’t be as much of a problem at this location as it was down by Stone Way. The entrance of the old video store is on the parking lot side of the building, so coming onto the lot to panhandle would be trespassing.

    But yeah. Definitely a mixed thing for the people who live within a few blocks of the location…

    Mon, March 8 at 10:16 pm
  16. John Scott Tynes said,

    I’m not sure how big a draw the liquor store is for that particular clientele vs. the 7-11. I think malt liquor may hold the edge in bounce to the ounce. I frequented the liquor store at Stone Way and never noticed any scruffy dudes inside the store — only outside, panhandling.

    Mon, March 8 at 11:32 pm
  17. John Scott Tynes said,

    And wait, Cointreau in your milkshake?

    Mon, March 8 at 11:33 pm
  18. ailurophile said,

    Thank you, 6 pound, 8 oz baby Jesus!

    Tue, March 9 at 1:06 am
  19. iyqtoo said,

    I’ve never lived a few blocks from a state liquor store before, but it seems to me we could do a lot worse than this new tenant. True, their products might be an added attraction for the ramp bums, but there are laws against the bums’ misbehavior and enough eyes around that they shouldn’t be able to get away with very much.

    I feel lucky that we’re getting a retailer with ample political connections. If there was ever a tenant highly motivated to support any law enforcement the neighbors might need, SLB would be the one!

    Our part, as those neighbors, is to know the rules, report problems consistently and see that action is taken. We also have to assure that the surrounding businesses are kept in the loop. Not only are they our best surveillance team, they’re probably the ones most likely to be impacted.

    It’s times like this where Wallyhood becomes invaluable to the quality of life in our community by creating a connection and a dialog. How about more ‘Wallyhood’ posters around there?! (Only one per pole and dated, of course!) I’ll help.

    Tue, March 9 at 8:51 am
  20. Lauren said,

    @ iyqtoo – The voice of reason. I couldn’t agree more.

    Tue, March 9 at 9:14 am
  21. Bill said,

    I’m glad to see them finally opening up another Wallingford location, and the perfect spot in my opinion given the available choices. Great for foot traffic, and more parking too for those who drive.

    I have to agree with @iyqtoo – well said!

    On another note, since we lost the video store there, has everyone noticed the Red Box machines popping up everywhere lately? Not bad for $1 a day.

    Tue, March 9 at 9:39 am
  22. Chris W. said,

    Ah yes! Now everything I like to have nearby is within walking distance! And I’m totally stopping by Dick’s on the way back — great suggestion, Jordan!

    Tue, March 9 at 2:54 pm
  23. Steve B. said,

    Close to where the ramptrash do their thing at 45th & I-5. DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY! Help them find a job. They do not have the living expenses like the rest of us so that $1 you give them to “help” just goes for the daily buzz. Remember how they camped out at the last liquor store?

    Tue, March 9 at 4:57 pm
  24. phoebe said,

    i live a block away on 45th and already deal with my share of winos being as close as i am to the freeway and i think blows. this section of wallingford has turned into a major hole in the last few years with all of the empty storefronts and graffiti. AND no more donuts. i like liquor stores, but think having one this close to the freeway is a bad idea.

    Tue, March 9 at 5:26 pm
  25. phoebe said,

    i live a block away on 45th and already deal with my share of winos being as close as i am to the freeway and i think this blows. this section of wallingford has turned into a major hole in the last few years with all of the empty storefronts and graffiti. AND no more donuts. i like liquor stores, but think having one this close to the freeway is a bad idea.

    Tue, March 9 at 5:27 pm
  26. Dr.Ofgnillaw said,

    The world’s largest Liquor Store is in Colorado.

    Tue, March 9 at 11:00 pm
  27. Greg said,

    What pops in my mind is that the State just closed the store at 45th and Stone Way. It isn’t cheap to close down a business. It will be convenient to have one within walking distance, but seems another case of if it wasn’t broke, why (and what) did the guv’mnt pay to fix it?

    Phoebe, I agree, the loss of Winchell’s was major and seems inexplicable. Why dump a viable tenant to create an empty storefront? It was the last true donut shop in Seattle. Sorry, but one does not buy a donut as a healthy meal – it is a guilty pleasure indulged in on occasion. Missing Noe and the friendly business he ran there.

    Wed, March 10 at 8:18 am
  28. Wallyhood said,

    Greg, I understand that the Winchell’s franchise closed because they were losing money. Read the comments on this post with lots of customers helping to explain why they were losing money:

    Wed, March 10 at 8:47 am
  29. Floor Pie said,

    Ooh, just in time for margarita season!

    Wed, March 10 at 10:14 am
  30. Mike said,

    After reading through the comments, it seems that I am not the only one with mixed feelings about this. While having a liquor store in the neighborhood is a convenience, I too am concerned about the increased foot traffic, crime and public drunkenness. I moved to Wallingford from California (LA and SF) about a year ago, and in my time here I have been amazed by the amount of panhandlers and homeless in the area. I have also been amazed by the ability of some of them to get rip roaring drunk from their malt liquor beverages. I have even commented to my wife before that it is a good thing you can’t buy hard alcohol anywhere like you can in CA because we would have a real problem on our hands. For this reason alone, the new liquor store location concerns me. The fact that WA state controls liquor sales is an archaic practice, but as residents we need to use this fact to enforce their own laws. I know that it generates a lot of revenue for the state, but are there any regulations or laws that we should know about? For example, is it legal for a WA state employee to sell to those who are obviously intoxicated? Or, if panhandling is illegal, who do we call to enforce the law?

    I too agree with Iqytoo ‘s post. Only as a community we have the power to enforce the law. It is our job as Wallingford residents to know the laws and who to call to enforce them. As residents do we have a say in whether or not the state can put a liquor store there? I do not recall ever seeing a public notice posted for a liquor license like you do when a bar changes ownership.

    For the sake of our East Wallingford residents, we can not let this get out of hand, because if it does, it is only a matter of time before all of Wallingford just gets lumped into the mess that we know as Aurora rather than the charming community north of downtown near the UW.

    Wed, March 10 at 11:27 am
  31. N2 said,

    The University Village liquor store seems to always have a cop or cop-like person in the store, one assumes to look out for underage patrons. Maybe our liquor store will spur a larger police presence in northeast Wallyhood?????

    Also, those of you who are going to do the Dick’s-liquor store-7-11 crawl …. be sure not to leave your empties and wrappers in my front yard, ‘mkay?

    Wed, March 10 at 11:36 am
  32. Bill said,

    The old Wallingford liquor store was supposedly closed because they lost their lease, not because the store wasn’t performing well. While some people were apparently loyal to Winchell’s, I rarely if ever saw any customers in the place. I always wondered how they stayed open as long as they did.

    I don’t think the homeless people who are alcoholics really buy their liquor from liquor stores. It’s the cheap malt beverages from the convenience stores they seem to favor. The liquor stores do a better job of not selling to drunk people, unlike 7-11 or the like. Panhandling outside the store will likely be an issue though.

    Wed, March 10 at 12:33 pm
  33. Sherri said,

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mike and Iyqtoo – we are just a few houses away from this new liquor store location and hope that the neighborhood will be proactive as a community with this new store.

    Wed, March 10 at 3:31 pm
  34. DOUG. said,

    A couple folks on this thread have bemoaned “increased foot traffic” like that is a bad thing. More foot traffic is GOOD for a neighborhood. Ever been to Detroit?

    Wed, March 10 at 3:47 pm
  35. JD said,

    My two pennies on the issue:

    I don’t see the liquor store being as huge of a draw for bums as people seem to think. Why spend $14 on the cheapest fifth when you can pick up a 6’er of Olde English HG tallboys (tasty, right?) for $5 at 7-11 or the gas station just east of Petco on 45th?

    The bums on the off ramp are half as annoying as the bums outside of the QFC. (Hey reader who also works at QFC, what’s the deal?)

    Wed, March 10 at 3:51 pm
  36. Herman said,

    @ Mike:

    Yes, it is against policy for liquor store employees to sell to someone who is already intoxicated.

    Probably the biggest benefit to having state run liquor stores is that their mandate has always been public safety over profit.

    If there were to be a problem with obviously drunk panhandlers refueling at the new Wallingford Liquor Store, I would think that it would only take a handful of complaints to the WSLCB to put a dent in the issue.

    Thu, March 11 at 8:56 am
  37. Andy said,

    That section of 45th is looking more like Aurora every day. All we need now is a flop hotel and porn video outlet. Will fit right at home with the bong shop and throwing star shop.

    Instead of giving your money to the offramp panhandlers, consider giving it to the state store straight away. Maybe you’ll save a liver.

    Seriously, the old state store was a depressing dump that wasn’t even clean. I hope they can do better. Well, I don’t have much hope actually.

    I predict that within six months of opening someone will be hit crossing the street on that section of 45th (let’s call it Aurora East).

    Bad day for Wallingford.

    Thu, March 11 at 7:44 pm
  38. Husky Charlie said,

    I think this is a great idea and I live in “East Wallingford”. It is my experience that bums usually don’t drink branded liquor and how can a liquor store bring a worse element then the hard drugs being dealt down by the highway. We should also see increased police presence which might actually help cut down on dealing/panhandling.

    BTW-Count me in for a video porn outlet as well. Hopefully with a several different genres. I think that would do nothing but add to the hard, gritty reality that is East Wallingford.

    Thug Life!

    Fri, March 12 at 2:03 pm
  39. GCP said,

    As someone who passed by the old liquor store on Stone many a time as the 16 is my regular bus, I only ever saw, AT MOST, 2 panhandlers outside the store. Mostly it was just the same 1 guy every day. Panhandlers don’t like congregating that much when actually panhandling, makes them less approachable and less likely to get any money. I actually saw a couple panhandlers/street musicians(?) get in a fight over a corner when I lived in Chicago. I don’t remember if they were street musicians right now, but in Chicago, all street musicians must be permitted and display their permit (a good idea for Seattle I think).

    Also, I thought Seattle passed a law about selling malt liquor at convenience stores. Or did that only apply to convenience stores in the downtown/belltown/cap hill area? And therefore pushed them out of downtown and into our neighborhoods…

    Sat, March 13 at 11:21 am
  40. Greg said,

    Thanks, Wallyhood, for the referral to the Winchell’s topic. It still sounds like the departure of Winchell’s, though old history at this point, was initiated by the owner(s) of the building. I got a kick out of Noe cutting costs by using plain brown boxes and napkins rather than franchise material. As far as business, most of it transpired between 6am and 9am, by folks taking a few dozen to work. (Try buying a few dozen Top Pot or Mighty-O donuts! Ouch!) The business never seemed to be struggling when I stopped occasionally on the way to school… and Noe always had a smile and a greeting.

    Sorry to digress, just wanted to close out the Winchell’s comment from Tues.

    Sun, March 14 at 1:12 pm
  41. Dennis said,


    The City has Alcohol Impact Areas where there are limits on what can be sold. One of the Alcohol Impact Areas covers the U District and extends to Latona which means that the first couple of places outside of the impact area are in Wallingford (the gas station on 45th and the 7-11 and 50th Street Market on 50th). The folks who buy these sorts of beverages have figured this out.

    Sun, March 14 at 1:25 pm
  42. Chris said,

    Wow, it’s interesting to see how much fear and resentment this brings up over homeless people. I’m definitely in agreement with those who point out how unproblematic the old one at Stone Way was. The businesses many homeless people seem most likely to hang out at are convenience stores and grocery stores. You don’t see a lot of homeless people that can afford hard alcohol.

    And all this “aggressive panhandling” stuff I hear about is, to me, complete nonsense. Maybe it’s because I often make eye contact with homeless people, talk with them, give them some change, or, if I don’t feel like giving them anything, say “Not today, sorry,” and look them in the eye. Basically, I don’t think of them as “bums” or “ramptrash” or whatever hateful terms people on this forum are calling them. They’re people, period. I’m not saying they are saints, just that they are people, often with substance abuse problems. If it bothers you to see people out of doors who have problems, support Real Change, support SHARE/WHEEL, support Nickelsville, support Solid Ground. That’ll do something to change the situation and change your own attitudes about homelessness. Fearful NIMBY attitudes keep homelessness and poverty in place.

    Sat, March 20 at 10:05 am
  43. iyqtoo said,

    Feeling kind of feisty this morning, but calling a bum a bum is not NIMBY or hateful, it’s honest. Can’t speak for anybody else, but the resentment i feel about this subject is the failure on many folks in Seattle to distinguish ‘homeless people’ who truly need help and are often too proud to ask from the substance abusing bums who are perfectly capable of doing productive work, but are allowed and encouraged to take advantage of the limited resources that have been set aside for the truly needy.

    If you find that giving money to bums helps you feel less guilty, you might try looking at the long term too. You are enabling their own self-destruction. Not so different from giving a whining child cookies or TV time to shut them up while you finish a task without thinking about their future as a fat person. Far better to teach yourself how to say ‘no’ in a respectful way.

    The barriers might be slightly higher, but recoginizing your own guilt and reserving your coins for the Real Change vendors or organized support agencies is a whole lot better for everybody in the long term.

    Sat, March 20 at 11:31 am
  44. DeanMartin said,

    First of all, thank you to iyqtoo for making the very reasonable distinction between the “homeless” and drunks.  Folks who enable uncivil behavior out of some misguided sense of sympathy hurt the neighborhood, as well as the very population they purport to support.
    Secondly, the problem is not that the drunks who are presently allowed to stagger all around our neighborhoods will suddenly buy a bottle of Courvoisier to go with their pheasant under glass, but that by placing a liquor store by Dick’s, the WaState Liquor Board has just enabled the lucrative business model of underage drinking by aligning supply with demand.  When I was growing up on Capitol Hill, it was common knowledge for us pre-21’ers that alcohol “buyers” would be available in the Dick’s parking lot for anybody who didn’t merely want a Chocolate shake with their Deluxe.  At that time the liquor store was just across the street.
    On the heels of a just plain stupid decision by the Seattle School District to segment the 45th-50th street neighborhood as part of their rezoning efforts, some of us are feeling pretty sore with public sector “decision makers” – we have already had one neighbor move out, and a second is looking.

    Tue, April 20 at 11:54 pm
  45. Tom said,


    The epidemic of panhandling and public intoxication from the homeless is not a result of the zoning of state run liquor stores. Granted, the location of social services and alcohol vendors can attract additional problems to specific areas but it’s a city wide issue.The reason our city contains a large and problematic homeless population is because our city government (principally the Mayor’s office) is unwilling to address it in any meaningful way. The Mayor has already vetoed an aggressive panhandling ordinance while law enforcement is discouraged from targeting the problem in a proactive manner.

    The simple presence of police patrols tasked with enforcing public intoxication and loitering laws eliminates the it as a chronic problem in the neighborhood.

    Tue, December 28 at 10:48 am
Read previous post:

Michael Suzerris had a vision: he wanted to create a space in Wallingford where people could come together and advance...