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Amazon wants to open SF liquor store, deliver booze

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Dogpatch warehouse would host small storefront with potentially large profile

The front door of Amazon’s Seattle office. Jeff Scoble

Amazon continues to tinker with its brick and mortar ambitions in San Francisco, now petitioning for a liquor store license at a Dogpatch storefront and planning a door-to-door alcohol delivery service in the city.

The San Francisco Business Times reported the endeavor, which involves a 200-square-foot space at 888 Tennessee Street, near Esprit Park.

This coincides with the online retail giant’s query with the state to allow it to deliver wine door to door, a service it already offers in other cities, including LA and Sacramento.

Right now, 888 Tennessee is a warehouse—in fact, it’s one of Amazon’s warehouses, a place where in the past the building owner has wanted to raze the structure in favor of housing, but for the time being it still stands.

According to the San Francisco Assessor, the building is well over 38,000 square feet, and the proposed store would take up only a tiny fraction of the available space.

Generally, a license to serve alcohol in San Francisco is a rare, highly sought-after commodity that can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, although it depends on the particulars.

According to the liquor license brokerage firm Liquor License Agents, a relatively simple type 20 license covers “brick and mortar stores that sell items such as foodstuffs, in addition to beer and wine” and is comparably inexpensive.

But Amazon probably needs a type 21, since that’s the type employed by liquor-only stores, as it “permits the holder to sell this type of alcohol without any quota on gross sales of other items from the store, such as food,” and the price for such a gem can climb well into six figures.