Private retailers in Washington state begin selling liquor following law ending privatization of liquor stores in state

NEW YORK , June 1, 2012 () – A Seattle grocery store held a midnight party and dozens of people showed up early Friday to be the first to buy liquor from a private retailer.

Shoppers seemed to be in high spirits at the Metropolitan Market in the Queen Anne neighborhood as TV cameras recorded them checking inventory and prices and taking their bottles to the check-out stand.

State liquor stores were closed under Initiative 1183, approved by voters last fall to dismantle Washington's state-run liquor system.

The initiative allows stores larger than 10,000 square feet and some smaller stores to sell hard alcohol.

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