Entrances to Package (Liquor) Stores

You want to lease a commercial space to use for a liquor store or wine store (also called a package store), but it has double doors. This may prohibit the premises from being issued a retail license to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. The key is how the double doors are configured. Double doors which meet flush constitute a single entrance to a package store.

Double doors which are separated by a center post constitute two entrances unless the center post between the two doors is eight inches or less in width, in which case, the two doors, including the center post, will be deemed one entrance. All reports and plans for the retail application should state the width of the center post in such instances, and pictures should be included to supplement.

The applicant will also have to properly calculate distances for applying the 200 foot rule. In measuring the distance to a school or house of worship, where the doors of the proposed premises are flush, and where the meeting edges of the doors are separated by a center post eight inches or less in width, the measurement shall be taken to the center of the post. Where the two doors are separated by a center post exceeding eight inches in width, each door which permits ingress is deemed a separate entrance and measurements for each must be provided. (Divisional order # 655, July 18, 1973).

If your liquor license application for an off premises retail liquor or wine store is rejected on this basis, the applicant may be able to make minor construction changes to replace the door with one that complies with SLA requirements. In some cases, permanently disabling the second door by removing the door handle hardware and securely locking it in a permanent manner may be an acceptable resolution. Other potential solutions are replacing the door or reconfiguring the entryway to block access to the second door with dry wall. Working with an experienced liquor license attorney can help you uncover strategies to get your license application approved.