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Whole Foods terminates store liquor license

By Grace Lovins

Whole Foods Market, 2100 East Maple Road in Birmingham, has relinquished their liquor license and special land use permit, and is beginning the process of changing the current bistro inside the store to an e-commerce area.

The city commission approved the termination of the special land use permit at their meeting on Monday, April 3, and with it the store's liquor license.

The market was originally tagged for violating the city’s liquor code after the city’s police department caught the establishment selling alcohol to a minor. When representatives attended the public hearing in March for the city commission to decide if they would recommend renewal of the license, Whole Foods attorney Kelly Allen said the employee responsible had been terminated on the spot and additional training was given to the staff.

Allen also informed the commission at the public hearing that Whole Foods was intending to relinquish their special land use permit, and said the store will no longer allow for the consumption of alcohol within the store. According to Allen, the bistro couldn’t be positioned within the store because of the e-commerce merger with Amazon.

At the meeting on April 3, Allen said she and Whole Foods management agree with the city’s recommendation to approve the SLUP termination and are ready to move forward. The plans for the new e-commerce area were submitted to city staff on Friday, March 21.

With little discussion, commissioners voted 7-0 to accept the termination of Whole Foods’ special land use permit either at the start of construction, violation of the special land use permit, or 90 days from the meeting, whichever happens first.


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