Walnut Grove liquor store move turned down by council

For the second time since December, council has voted against the plan.

Langley Township council refused to reconsider a plan to move a Walnut Grove liquor store a few blocks.

In a four-four tie vote on Monday, council voted against a reconsideration of plans to move the Shark Club Liquor Store west to the Thunderbird shopping plaza.

“We’re obviously extremely disappointed,” said Scott Thomson, vice president of Northland Properties.

“We’re at a loss as to why those council members would not want this to go to public hearing,” he added.

The proposed move was first voted down in December. The liquor store already had a preliminary approval by the BCLC.

He said the store has seen steadily declining revenues in its current location, barely breaking even in 2017. The closure of the Shark Club and new developments that made it more difficult to see from the street were partly to blame, he told council earlier this month.

But several councillors argued that it didn’t need to move. During a Feb. 4 meeting, several councillors questioned Thomson about whether business won’t pick up again soon at the current store location.

The liquor store’s current landlord, Michael Anderson of Reading Projects, also appeared before council in early February to argue against the move.

Anderson said with the Oak and Thorne having moved into the former Shark Club location next to the liquor store, business would pick up.

On Monday, Thompson said the store still wanted to move. He said a bar fight spilled out of the Oak and Thorne recently, leaving blood near the front of the liquor store.

The ownership has not yet decided what to do following Monday’s council vote, Thomson said.

At an earlier council meeting, he suggested the store could leave and take its liquor license with it. Due to changes in liquor licensing, that would leave only one liquor store in western Walnut Grove instead of the current two.

Reading Projects openly offered earlier this month to buy the current store’s liquor license to keep it in place, or said they would buy the license from the other Walnut Grove liquor store and move that in if the Shark Club Liquor Store closed.

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