New Fry’s Marketplace wine and beer bar explained to Apache Junction City Council

Customers at Fry’s Marketplace No. 665, under construction at 150 E. Old West Highway in Apache Junction, can buy a plate of cheese and sit at a beer and wine bar to order a drink from a bartender.

The beer and wine bar will be similar to one at the Fry’s Marketplace at Signal Butte and Guadalupe roads, Craig Miller, of Arizona Liquor Industry Consultants, the Fry’s agent, said at the Sept. 5 Apache Junction City Council meeting.

“For those of us who haven’t been to Signal Butte and Guadalupe, can you describe a little bit about this beer and wine bar? Is it just tasting? Can I come in and sit down and have a sandwich and a beer?” Councilwoman Christa Rizzi asked.

“In theory I can take my three daughters and my wife shopping and I can go … sit at the bar and watch the local sports game, have a glass of beer and consider my past decisions… So this is kind of an area I can relax,” he said. “At a lot of locations it becomes like a meeting area. You can get a plate of the fresh cheeses … vegetable plate or you can get food from the different option areas and then sit in there and have a light meal, have an appetizer,” Mr. Miller said.
Fifteen to 20 people can sit at a Fry’s wine and beer bar, he said.

“This is a large grocery store. Within the interior of it there will be a designated area with some railing and an actual, physical bar where you can go and talk to a bartender. You can order a glass of wine or you can have a bottle of beer or a draft beer. And you stay in a confined area the bartender can monitor and maximum seating is like 15 to 20 people in most of the Fry’s interior locations,” Mr. Miller said.

The shopping center will be anchored by a 123,000-square-foot Fry’s Marketplace store. It also will include a fueling station and five other parcels that are proposed to be developed with a bank, fast food sites and some retail shops. It is replacing the Fry’s across the street at 185 W. Apache Trail.

A grand opening is to be held Oct. 27, Mr. Miller said.

“The plan is to – hopefully – get the licenses and stuff in place so we can start moving product over on the fifth of October and then have the grand opening date set on the 27th. It’s important to get the licenses in before because the wholesalers cannot deliver to that location until the licenses are in place,” he said. “The current Fry’s doesn’t have a beer and wine bar.”

The city council on Sept. 5 voted 7-0 to recommend that the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control approve a location transfer, corporation, series 7 beer and wine bar license for the new Fry’s Marketplace.

In a separate vote, the council voted 7-0 to recommend approval for a location transfer, corporation, series 9 liquor store license for the same store.

“These are both the new Fry’s,” Apache Junction City Clerk Kathy Connelly said to the council. “You have an application for a beer and wine license – a Series 7; and then you have a Series 9, which is the broader liquor license application. One is to have a beer and wine bar and the other is for your package sales and off-site consumption,” she said.

Voting yes in both votes were Mayor Jeff Serdy, Vice Mayor Chip Wilson and council members Jeff Struble, Gail Evans, Ms. Rizzi, Dave Waldron and Robin Barker.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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