Issaquah Trader Joe’s halts liquor sales

December 11, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Trader Joe’s suddenly pulled spirits from store shelves not long after reopening at the Issaquah Commons last month.

The store at the open-air retail center meets the threshold — 10,000 square feet — to sell liquor under state law. Customers said store employees referred to a problem with the lease as the reason liquor disappeared from store shelves.

Trader Joe’s and the property owner offered few details about the change.

“At this time, we don’t have plans to offer spirits at the Issaquah location,” Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki wrote in response to emailed questions.

The leasing representative for the Issaquah Commons did not respond to a request for comment.

Madison Marquette, a national retail developer based in Washington, D.C., operates the Issaquah Commons.

Trader Joe’s — based in Monrovia, Calif. — closed a Pickering Place location and reopened Nov. 14 at the Issaquah Commons in a space large enough for the California-based grocer to offer spirits under the state’s revised liquor laws. The store still sells beer and wine.

The grocer relocated to 975 N.W. Gilman Blvd. from a smaller space, and renovated 11,000 square feet at the Issaquah Commons for the store.

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4 Responses to “Issaquah Trader Joe’s halts liquor sales”

  1. andrea on December 12th, 2012 11:40 am

    I was told it was because Safeway is the only one allowed to have liquor in the Issaquah Commons shopping center. Huge bummer!

  2. Jon on December 12th, 2012 12:14 pm

    That wouldn’t surprise me if Safeway had that in their lease, however Target also sells hard liquor.

  3. Hmmm on December 12th, 2012 1:10 pm

    I have a hard time believing TJ’s would have made the move if they had any reason to believe they would have been barred from selling liquor. TJ’s is a pretty big chain, and ought to have competent management and legal staff. This looks like more than just a squabble over the terms of a commercial lease.

  4. Cyrus on December 12th, 2012 5:13 pm


    The regional office of Madison Marquette, the developer who operates Issaquah Commons is below. The Executive Vice President of National Operations is Thomas Gilmore. See:

    Please use their contact form and request they modify their policy:

    401 Broadway East
    Suite 223
    Seattle, WA 98102

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