‘Shady’ deal allows Richmond Grocery Outlet to sell spirits

'Shady' deal allows Richmond's Grocery Outlet to sell spirits

The Richmond Planning Commission last week approved a request by the Grocery Outlet store in Richmond to sell spirits in addition to beer and wine, but not without requiring the company to plant several trees on its property.

The store opened at 12010 San Pablo Ave. in 2013 with much fanfare. According to its owners, the store’s alcohol section will not expand, but will be more competitive by offering spirits in addition to wine and beer.

The Planning Commission didn’t see a problem with the store selling spirits, but included conditions of approval, one which requires Grocery Outlet to add street and parking lot trees.

Grocery Outlet agreed to adding the trees. A city official says that will probably lead to the planting of two trees along San Pablo Avenue, two along Macdonald Avenue, and three at the end of each row in the parking lot.

Commissioner Andrew Butt introduced the condition for trees, saying there was such excitement for the opening of a grocery store in 2013 that city officials and leaders didn’t think to press for trees.

“I do see it as an opportunity now…and think it will add a nice amenity for people frequenting Grocery Outlet,” Butt said.

Adding the tree-planting condition when businesses make requests of the Planning Commission is becoming common practice in Richmond.

Last year, an auto body that opened on 23rd Street agreed to plant four street trees as a condition of their ability to do business there.

Local groups including Groundwork Richmond and Richmond Trees have been making a concerted effort to increase the number of trees in Richmond in order to improve quality of life for residents.


  1. Encouraging the planting of trees in Richmond is a wonderful idea. Requiring business to add them like in the article is also. Many neighborhoods in Richmond would be immediately and markedly improved simply by planting of trees in the sidewalks.
    The Grocery Outlet in Richmond is a great place to find bargains but the parking lot does feel like an oily asphalt desert, ugly and not inviting at all. It really could use a do over with a lot of trees although I don’t really expect that to happen soon unless the property owners get involved.