SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – BevMo! wants to open up in a popular midtown spot. But the move has some longtime residents and business owners concerned it’s a clash with their culture.
The store wants to fill a space on the corner of J and 17th Streets, but gone are the days of it serving a small operation. The Beat is gone and a big chain is set to move in.
The neon lights are still aglow, but the music is no longer being sold. Vinyl is being replaced by lots of vino. The signs are up and now neighbors and local businesses are preparing for BevMo! to move in where The Beat once belonged.
“It’s just trying to find the right mix for us,” said David Kwong, who owns the Gifted Gardner. “In terms of BevMo! moving into midtown, you know, I welcome the business into the area, but I wish it wasn’t a large store. I wish it wasn’t a liquor store.”
This vibrant midtown section of Sacramento has been defined by small business and an artsy culture. BevMo!, a chain of 150 stores in big markets across the west, is setting its sights here. They have the support of the Midtown Business Association and police, but there are also those voicing opposition.
“We just have too much alcohol vending going on in midtown right now and there’s gotta be some control,” said said Jeffrey Doolittle, a midtown resident.
“Midtown has traditionally been a lot of small people, you know. And I think that’s good and I don’t really want to see it become a suburb,” said a midtown resident.
One reason small businesses are moving out is midtown rents are going up.
“And it’s unfortunately driving a lot of the small businesses out. The Beat was closed because of increased rent, Hamburger Pattie’s closed because of increased rent, we’re looking at increased rent here,” said Kwong.
A midtown BevMo! is offering cheers and jeers.
No question the local artist sign from The Old beat will come down. And if all plans move forward, BevMo! will be moving in early next year.
The Sacramento Planning Commission will hold a hearing on BevMo!’s midtown move this Thursday.