By Rachel Pritchett, firstname.lastname@example.org, (360) 475-3783
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Imagine. Bainbridge Island. Dry, without the possibility of a drop of liquor being purchased anywhere.
It sounds like a long shot, but it could have happened, I suppose.
As you know, the state is getting out of the liquor business, and the eight state liquor stores or state-contracted liquor stores in Kitsap County will close come June, when liquor instead will be sold in private grocery stores, minimarts, Costcos and other outlets.
The problem with the Bainbridge store, which is across Hildebrand Lane from Silver Screen Video, is that the state’s lease arrangement with owners of the premises was scheduled to expire March 31, 2012, according to a documents request I made to the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
That meant that if a new lease agreement weren’t negotiated to fill in between March 31 and June 1, the store conceivable could close down.
I live on Bainbridge Island, and this alarming prospect was a topic of discussion among my friends, neighbors and also with at least one liquor-store employee, fearful of unemployment coming sooner rather than later.
We were reminded we are truly an island.
The island’s hard-liquor fans (I am not one of them) would then be forced to cross the Agate Pass Bridge and buy their supplies on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, or perhaps have to go all the way to Kingston, Poulsbo or maybe even the other way, to Seattle in April and May.
I have since learned that major inconvenience is not going to happen.
The state has negotiated a lease extension with the landlord that goes through July 31, for around $6,500 a month. The agreement was expected to be finalized late this week.
Of the remaining seven state and contracted liquor stores in Kitsap County go well beyond June, which means they’ll stay open until the switchover of sales to private stores.
So there you have it — a seamless transition, but we were wondering there for a while on Bainbridge whether we should stock up on lemonade.