Ocean Shores liquor store back on the auction block

The rights to the former state liquor store in Ocean Shores will be put up for public auction a third time after the second bid winner also failed to come up with money to pay for the store.

The Ocean Shores store, which closed at the end of May, was one of six remaining stores where bids were made to the Washington State Liquor Control Board only to have the winners back out of paying.

The bidders in the previous public auction had to put up a deposit of $10,000, which was forfeited if they did not complete the transaction.

Bidders for the next auction, to be held June 28, will have to put up a deposit of $25,000.

Since the last auction, the IGA grocery store in Ocean Shores has begun selling liquor under the new state law and initiative that privatized liquor sales.

Voters approved I-1183 last fall allowing stores larger than 10,000 square feet to sell liquor and removing the state from the liquor store business, leaving the existing state liquor stores to be auctioned and run as private businesses.

So far, bidders have taken over 161 state liquor stores, paying a total of $29.8 million in bid fees to the state, the liquor control board reported.

The board also estimates it has taken in about $1 million in fees from the sales.

The Ocean Shores store is located at 171E Chance a la Mer NE, but it can be moved within a mile radius under the law if a lease cannot be worked out in its former location.

The store drew a winning bid of $205,000 in the initial auction, and when the winning bidder didn’t pay, it was re-auctioned for a winning bid of $275,000 to an Indiana man who also did not follow through.

The other stores to be re-auctioned include a store on Broadway Avenue East in Seattle, a store on Pacific Highway in Kent, as well as stores in Bellevue, Bellingham and Kennewick.

The new auction will be at the Liquor Control Board distribution center at 4401 East Marginal Way in Seattle. Registration for the auction begins at 9 a.m. on June 28, followed by live bids at 10 a.m.