Michael and Francis Cho of Mukilteo are the proud new owners of the contract to sell liquor at the Anacortes Liquor Store location once the state gives up retail liquor sales June 1.
Michael Cho placed the high bid for the Anacortes location in the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s online auction, which ended Friday evening. The bid was for $200,300.
Francis Cho said their plan was to purchase the rights to operate as many stores as they could, and they are happy that in addition to Anacortes, they will be running stores in Gig Harbor ($135,100), Bainbridge Island ($170,100) and Wenatchee ($198,100).
The four together cost $703,600, which is still less than the single-most expensive bid for a liquor store near Tacoma’s South End neighborhood. Liquor Store No. 122 went for $750,100.
The Chos’ current business is running government contracts to operate cafeterias, Francis Cho said.
The contract for the store gives the Chos an exemption from the 10,000-square-foot minimum footprint required by I-1183 to sell spirits.
It does not include inventory, staff or leasing of the property.
Francis Cho said she has contacted Bill Giesy, who represents landlord Carol Linde of the Anacortes store, to renew the lease on the building at 1005 Commercial Ave.
The Chos plan to keep all the staff from the liquor store on board so that operations can continue as before, Francis Cho said.
“We’re very excited to offer this service, especially in Anacortes,” she said. “It’s our favorite town in Washington.”
She said before the Chos moved to Washington from Los Angeles 15 years ago, they paid a visit to the region but skipped Seattle and spent most of their time in Anacortes.
Francis Cho said she and her husband are considering a relocation here once their children are out of school.
The Liquor Control Board auction results list Michael Cho, with username “tulip,” as the high bidder for the four stores. His address is listed as a P.O. Box in Pacific, Wash.
What? Why the exemption? That wasn’t what anyone voted for. Unfortunate for Anacortes.. and the other locations. Seems that having current “government contracts” affords a special privilege?