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Beer store

Discussion in 'US - Pacific' started by DrunkenMonk, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. It appears that though the economy is down, beer sales are up. Does anyone have a clue where I could get info on how to open a beer store? I realize the small bus admin would be the primary source, but are there other sources directly related to beer? Thanks.
     
  2. litheum94

    litheum94 Initiate (0) California Dec 29, 2008

    Some cities and towns have small business centers dedicated to guiding people along the way. Here's the link for my local center. http://santarosasbdc.org/

    That said, I hope you have really done your research and have other reasons for opening a shop besides the fact that beer sales are up. You have to have a good business plan. Just because craft beer is hot right now doesn't not mean you'll have instant success.

    Good luck.
     
    DJFairhurst likes this.
  3. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (480) California Dec 11, 2010

    Not only that, but make sure you talk to current shop owners. Bottle shops don't exactly churn out the profits.
     
  4. robL

    robL Savant (260) California Oct 22, 2010

    Also, if its just a bottle shop, then you're going to need significant capital to get going. If its a full blown liquor store, you'll need to purchase a license from a previous owner as it's extremely difficult to obtain one from the state of CA. Furthermore, if you're looking to acquire a beer & wine license with the option to serve on-premise, you'll want to talk to your neighborhood council...a lot of them consider any business that allows on-site consumption to be held up to higher scrutiny as its often looked at as a bar (even though technically it's not).

    Yeah, I'm helping a friend do the same thing here on the westside...it's been a year+ of planning and he thinks he's still a year off.
     
    DJFairhurst and grandmachine like this.
  5. Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it. I realize the importance of a solid business plan and the need for a valid reason to open a shop. But beyond that I'm clueless. This has been good advice, so thank you for sharing.

    @robL...is this long length of time due to raising capital or are there other reasons?
     
  6. sirtomtom

    sirtomtom Savant (250) California Dec 10, 2010

    While I can't answer for him, it honestly could be permits. They can take a long time to get, requiring many hoops to jump through. Selling beer and wine requires a particular permit. If you want to sell beer, wine, and hard liquor, that's a different, harder to get permit. The same categories exist if you want serve alcohol as well, and it truly helps if you have friends in the city offices.

    Also you can't forget you need a business license, as well as a small multitude of inspections and sign offs prior to be able to open, more if you are doing a renovation onto an existing building.
     
    DJFairhurst likes this.
  7. Do you have any retail experience in a beer shop/liquor store? If not you really should try to get some ASAP before jumping in. Good luck!
     
  8. Why is it taking your friend 2 years to open a shop?
     
  9. robL

    robL Savant (260) California Oct 22, 2010

    Finding the right start up capital combined with finding the location he wants to be in is the bulk of the hold up. Within those obstacles, he has neighborhood councils, community meetings, homeowner association approvals, and local merchant groups to get on board with his store as best he can.

    I'm sure in other areas of LA, it is much easier. But he's choosing a neighborhood where small development (and especially alcohol-related development) is a steep uphill battle.
     
    sirtomtom and DJFairhurst like this.
  10. That is a very long time. May I ask what area?
     
  11. rgco

    rgco Aficionado (180) California Apr 2, 2012

    Invest the money in something more profitable like Pog slammers.
     
  12. robL

    robL Savant (260) California Oct 22, 2010

    My friend would prefer that I not post too much about it yet. It's in a very high-traffic and high-tourist area of LA that has no dedicated bottle shop within reasonable distance.
     
  13. Understandable. I looked into opening a shop in an area like that. 2 years is a very long time. There are a couple of guys who can get permits and licenses done pretty quickly even in areas like that, in case your friend is interested. They're not very cheap but almost a "must have."
     
  14. robL

    robL Savant (260) California Oct 22, 2010

    Yes, we are aware. In this particular area, getting those sorts of people to work with you costs in the 6 figures. And that's not even including the costs for the actual permits, license, and paperwork. He's choosing to do things in a more transparent, straight-forward way. We're making a lot of ground, but definitely a little ways out.
     
  15. BM sent
     
  16. I think this is pretty much a dream for 80% of us on here... thanks to various city regulations, permits, lack of capital, and other hoops to jump through it is a distant dream for 99.9% of those 80% haha.

    I have an epic bottle shop/tasting room (Picture the old provisions space), but in a different area that desperately needs a good options. However, I have no start up capital or ability to do so at this moment. So that means I can write up the plan and design everything needed for it, but it is just that... for the fun of it.
     
  17. About two months ago I checked with some people that I've worked with in the past. For a beer+wine license (on and off) it was about 80k and 6-9 months, including the permits and licenses And that was for a very high traffic, high end part of LA. Sometimes it is impossible to get anything done without expediters and such.
     
  18. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Savant (260) California Jul 7, 2012

    Fixers gonna fix.
     
  19. penniwisdom

    penniwisdom Initiate (0) California Sep 10, 2010

    The difficult part about starting out is...
    You want to sell your investors on a location. But by the time you raise all your money, that location is probably gone. You can find a new location but your investors may not like that they were sold on a different location. Or maybe a new location with the same amenities, population of target audience, etc doesn't exist. Definitely a catch 22.
    Good luck!
     
  20. Definitely the hardest part of the game. I just came across a prime location for one of my clients, and due to the location, there will be necessary tweaks to the business plan/model and necessary investment. The only option is to pay a premium to hold the lease open for, say 3 months, in order to get everything in line. Certainly a costly, risky balance.
     
  21. penniwisdom

    penniwisdom Initiate (0) California Sep 10, 2010

    Then if you aren't able to get investors together in time, you've lost that money you spent to hold the lease for nothing, it's tough. Too many people don't realize the risks and work that goes into these operations.
     
    PeterJ likes this.

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