Giant Eagle’s Lingering Liquor License is Keeping Other Stores From Moving In
After Giant Eagle’s closing on Neil Avenue earlier this month, some nearby residents are concerned about the vacant lot’s future. And, although the grocery store’s shelves are empty, the liquor store is still open, stocked and selling.
Because their liquor license legally must remain at that address, the shop can’t close for more than 24 hours, and Giant Eagle will have to operate it until another owner can be found. Community members have expressed concern about this delay, with some accusing the company of keeping the liquor store open with the goal of warding off competition like Kroger.
“Giant Eagle has closed the grocery store and has the means to ensure that my neighborhood no longer has access to groceries, mitigating competition, and they are doing this by staying just within the limits of the law,” one resident told Columbus Underground.
A statement from Giant Eagle suggests their plans are slightly less sinister than that:
“Per our license with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, select alcoholic beverages will continue to be sold at the Neil Avenue location until we reach a mutually agreeable decision on transference. We continue to fulfill our lease obligations and are working with the landlord on the long term plans for the property.”
But, when asked if there was a set timeline on the process, or if another grocery supplier would be able to move in in the interim between Giant Eagle closing and the liquor license being transferred, no conclusive answers were given.