Local CVS, Walgreens apply to sell alcohol

The District’s alcohol board is reviewing applications for two local pharmacies to sell beer and wine.

The CVS and Walgreens stores along Connecticut Avenue are applying for “Class B” liquor licenses from the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The stores would have to set aside 50 percent – or at least 6,000 square feet – of their shelf space for fresh meat, fruits, vegetables and dairy products to fall under the category of a grocery store.

Under the license, no more than 15 percent of a store’s sales may come from beer and wine purchases, according to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

The board held a public hearing Feb. 28, in which local grocers and city officials suggested changes to the current requirements, and the public can continue to submit suggestions to the board up to March 8.

One CVS in the District and two Walgreens stores already have licenses to sell beer and wine.

Managers at the CVS in the Shops at 2000 Penn declined a request to comment on whether they would consider applying for a liquor license.

While the Walgreens by the Van Ness Metro station and CVS in Woodley Park are pushing for “Class B” liquor licenses, more than 30 businesses with “Class A” licenses – liquor stores that sell spirits in addition to beer and wine – have begun to sell alcohol seven days a week.

In December 2012, D.C. joined 37 states nationwide in abolishing laws prohibiting alcohol sales on Sundays.

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