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New Columbia Pike ABC Store to Open Friday

by ARLnow.com May 30, 2012 at 11:29 am 5,931 58 Comments

A new Virginia ABC store on Columbia Pike is set to open this coming Friday, June 1.

The state liquor store, at 2940 Columbia Pike, will first open its doors at 10:00 a.m., according to Virginia ABC spokeswoman Jennifer Farinholt. Normal hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“The store measures 3,895 square feet and will carry approximately 1,400 items,” Farinholt told ARLnow.com.

  • Enough already

    The corona and tequila will sell out in the first 20 minutes down on the pike

    • KalashniKEV

      Only after the MD 20/20 sells out in 5…

    • John


    • MC 703

      I’m not sure you guys have been down that way lately.

    • WeiQiang

      … and the Jaeger, brah

    • PikerShorts

      Wow Corona and Tequila? Really? That sounds a little racist.

      • John

        Why do people pull the race card!!! Just shuuut up about it. its a joke

    • South Awwlington

      The dominance of brown flip flops on CPW grows. And I am fine with it.

      • Mary-Austin

        It’s a little scary how fast it’s happening.

    • Andrew

      They don’t sell beer, brah.

  • E-Ross

    Yay! Lost Dog for dinner and a bottle of Bailey’s taken home for dessert!

  • JohnB


  • S. Arlington Resident

    Amateurs. You can get MD 20/20 at the grocery store. It’s high potent wine that helps us deal with the snobs north of Rte 50.

  • JohnB2

    Are the ABC stores free to set their own prices? The reason I ask is the one near Lee & Glebe charges 5% more than the one in Ballston/VASq for some items. I wonder where this one will fall on the spectrum…

    • MC 703

      That surprises me. All of the prices should mirror this list…


      • JohnB2

        Hmm, maybe the prices went up in the past month then. The price at Lee & Glebe matches the list and that’s the store I visited most recently. Now I have an excuse to check the other store. Thanks for the link.

        • MC 703

          Anytime. It is VERY important to have an accurate and up to date distilled spirits price list when computing the monthly household budget.

  • Arlington, Northside

    Drinking on the Trolly! What a great idea to move it forward!

  • Bizzle

    Bout time! Although, this might be a bad idea…co pike is notorious for People that cant drive…throw alcohol into the mix…

    • EEOC

      During my daily Shirlington Ashburn commute I find that the most obnoxious drivers are the ones who cut into the right turn off N Fairfax / 66 ramp onto SB Glebe. And that is in North Arlington good sir.

      • YTK

        Well, maybe they’re all in a hurry to get in line before the new ABC store opens.

    • Andrew

      more notorious than wilson, washington blvd, fairax drive, clarendon blvd? I think not.

  • South Awwlington

    Question of the Day:

    Days state regulation of liquor sales benefit the consumer and prevent price gouging?

    I think yes; what say the crowd?

    • South Awwlington

      Mandatory quote typo: *Days=does*

    • E2DAV

      Negative…it’s a state-backed monopoly that doesn’t let the market dictate the number of locations and set one price across the state. Without ABC, there would be more locations and actual price competition.

      Not sure how you would define price gouging in liquor sales, but if somebody is willing to overpay for liquor, let them. The only gouging that can actually happen is if there is one supplier, which happens under this ABC model.

      My gut says that the prices are probably along the lines of what we’d see without ABC, but without competition, we don’t know.

      • South Awwlington

        @E2DAV – I guess we could compare liquor prices in DC, MD and VA.

        I tend to think that privatization of liquor stores lends itself to higher prices and dirty stores. Mind you, not all stores are like this but many I have seen in DC, MD, and even CA are like this. Not to mention ungodly prices on liquor in CA which I feel wouldn’t happen if that state controlled the program.

        These are all merely observations and not data driven but from recollection, I will say almost every ABC store I have been to Arlington and Alexandria have been clean, tidy well run. In DC, it’s hit or miss, same with MD. Price also seems to be lower in VA than in MD or DC and more inline with PA.

        NC also has state run liquor stores and they, like VA and PA seem to be fairly priced and well managed.

        • E2DAV

          Like I said, I don’t think totally privatizing the liquor business would drastically reduce cost. In theory, it should, but as mentioned above empirically you’ll find things more expensive and less expensive when you cross Key and go to Dixie.

          However, not really sure about the cleanliness factor. You might be right that the average ABC store is cleaner than a Cali liquor store, but you can also get liquor in any grocery store in Cali, most of which are pretty clean. I also don’t think a private Liquor store in DC would mirror a private liquor store in Arlington (cleanliness angle).

          I just wonder what kind of efficiency this program is operating at since it is state controlled and seemingly out of what a state government typically does. Are there tax dollars lost? Does that inefficiency push the pricing up?

          I don’t have a really strong conviction in this fight, but I 100% believe there is no such thing as price gouging in a privatized liquor market…that can only happen if there is one supplier. And, I have trouble defining a specific price that makes it price gouging for an unnecessary good. People that want to pay for $100 tequila shots, should be able to buy them. I also think that the VA state liquor laws are draconian and still living in the post-Prohibition 1930s.

          • Aaron

            The ABC markup is proportional to the price of the product, so I bet there are plenty of Virginia customers who don’t see the gouging when they dart in to buy a generic bottle of rotgut. If you’re planning to buy just about any recognizable whisky/rum/tequila, you’re going to pay $5-10 more for a fifth at the ABC store than you would in DC. If you want something on the fancier side, it’s just plain not going to be in stock, regardless of what the state’s price list says it should be, because no reasonable person in northern Virginia would pay the differential.

            Another thing to consider is that you would expect the prices at Dixie to be significantly higher than those at the Rosslyn ABC. They’re paying Georgetown rent for a tiny space and are in a prime location to exploit commuters crossing the Key Bridge. Instead, as noted, there are likely a handful of things more expensive and many things significantly cheaper.

      • Arlington, Northside

        There is competition right across the river, somethings are cheaper here, others not as cheap. I have zero problem with the current system in the Commonwealth. Now if I lived in Richmond and was a minimum of two hours from another state I might have an issue.

        • JR

          Given the fact it’s a crime to buy any substantive amount of alcohol in DC and bring it back to Virginia, in the eyes of the commonwealth at least there is not really competition across the river.

          See http://www.abc.virginia.gov/enforce/shippinginfo.html

          • Suburban Not Urban

            It’s not a crime to buy it, it’s a crime not to pay the taxes on it.

    • CW

      Ever been to New Hampshire? Point being, depends on how the system is run.

    • JR

      Given the fact that prices in Virginia liquor stores are frequently equal to or more expensive than Schneider’s in DC (which based on its pretty large and captive clientele has every reason to overcharge), no.

      State liquor stores are not meant to “benefit consumers and prevent price gouging” – they’re meant to give the state a corner on the market so it can limit the availability of liquor as it sees fit, generally by charging too much and limiting the outlets selling liquor to reduce quantities sold.

  • SF

    Got one vice covered. Now, for a half-way decent place to get a coffee. . . . .

  • South Awwlington

    Is anyone else annoyed with the flippant and haphazard application of the ARLNOW comment policy? Perhaps it’s time for a new hyperlocal blog where people can say what they want.

    I am sick and tired of some of my comments being flagged for moderation when there is nothing controversial about them at all.

    • Andrew

      without knowing what your comment was, it is hard to say if the comment policy is being flippant or haphazard…

    • CW

      It’s probably just because you posted a couple of comments on the same thread. It happens automatically.

      • South Awwlington

        well I can’t post it again, there are already two pending moderation and there is nothing controversial about them. It is such a ham handed, elementary application at best.

    • When we don’t moderate comments, people complain. When we do, people complain. We spend an enormous amount of effort trying to keep comments from getting out of hand. We’re sorry if you feel overly inconvenienced when a comment is held for moderation by our filtering algorithm, but this is a warning that repeatedly disrupting comment threads to complain about the comment policy will not be tolerated.

      • South Awwlington

        I feel like I have been officially spanked by the Catholic School nun. Thanks!

    • KalashniKEV

      The filtering algorithm totally hates me.

      • CW

        The filtering algorithm is based upon a running count of how many times an individual poster has referenced numerous specific topics. These include: Sam’s Deli, Donaldson Run, froyo, cupcakes, flip-flops, pizza, garlic breath, small dogs, PROPER SLICES, concealed carry permits, liberal tyranny, the Trolley, Artisphere, cyclists, VA ABC stores, Trev, bank robberies, brahs, and smoking bans.

        • Quoth the Raven

          Bollard discussions, however, are encouraged.

        • Richard Cranium

          I definitely had a Trev comment deleted yesterday about which I couldn’t, and still can’t, fathom what was offensive.

    • drax

      Um, how is the mod, who is working pretty much on his own to moderate lots of comments a day in addition to gathering and writing about news, supposed to know that your comment isn’t controversial until reading it? Every comment must be “flagged” for moderation. That’s life when you’re posting for free on someone else’s blog.

  • MIke

    Now, if we could just get a decent coffee place. Starbucks or Caribou, why are you ignoring us?

    • Josh S

      *sputters his pour over Blue Bottle all over his Macbook Pro*


      If we’re going to go chain, let’s bring Peet’s out. And then not tell anyone…..

      • Quoth the Raven

        Don’t talk about Peet’s. It will just needlessly get my hopes up.

      • MIke

        Oy, Peets. Since they have no penetration in DC, why would they choose to locate here. Besides, they have Left Coast snob appeal, but the coffee is dull.

        I’d settle for a Southside version of Northside Social. Let the hipsters rule.

      • MIke

        Ultimately, anything would be better than Rappahannock Coffee with their surly service and limited hours.

        • YTK

          Wow — their manners have improved. They’re only surly now?
          How about their cardboard pastries?

      • SF

        I just drooled a little on my keyboard.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      You’ve got a Dunkin Donut’s – I thought that was supposed to be better than Starbucks.

    • YTK

      Starbucks yes – Caribou no.

  • Coffeeness

    Try the coffee at EthioCafe. You can get some insurance with your latte. But don’t bring any friends, there are about 5 seats.

    Agree w/other posters: until VA ABC starts rummaging through my bags on the Yellow Line bridge, the state liquor monopoly is effectively a tax on central Virginians that NoVa residents can avoid. Good for us.

  • Genny Eveeve

    Columbia Pike had an ABC store adjacent to the Arlington movie theater about thirty eight years ago and it looked like a prison, it was awesome, brown bags flourished. I hope it’s cheaper than the Class six store at Ft. Meyer.

  • YTK

    Yay! I will be standing on line when the doors first open, bright-eyed and bushy tailed!!!
    I stood on line. Oh, need refill.
    Now I need to shtand on line again,
    Where is the line?
    OOPSH, I can’t walk a straight line.
    Why am I shhhtaannnnding here???

  • JNO

    Say what you will, But on a serious note, the real issue here IS, the face that we have regained some respect from the State….almost 40 years ago “ours” was taken away and never replaced, while all the brown flip flops in North enjoy multiple outlets in their zipcodes. 3 years ago I e-mailed the ABC and posed the question, “is 22204’s tax dollars not good enough?” I even suggested the site. Since the “Halstead” opened, they seem to have trouble renting retail space, why not replace the store we Deservein it. I recieved the usual state BS letter, “we are looking into it”…Well Here you go! TYVM


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