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"David versus Goliath" battle over wine sales in Coquitlam appears to be over

Last Updated Jun 1, 2015 at 3:48 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

A wine shop owner and a private liquor store in Coquitlam have settled their dispute

COQUITLAM (NEWS1130) – A dispute between a wine shop and a private liquor store has come to an end. The owner of Westwood Wines had been told her lease wouldn’t be renewed unless she gave her support to the shop wanting to move in at Westwood Plateau Village shopping centre.

CJ Basaraba wouldn’t budge, and planned to fight it at City Hall, but liquor store partner Mike McKee with the JAK Group now says they’ve agreed not to sell wine for five years, and never to sell BC VQA wine for as long as CJ’s store is there. “That would make the residents happy and make CJ more secure, so she’s now supporting our application.”

McKee believes his store’s offerings of craft beers, liquor, and eventually wine from around the world will more than offset not having VQA wines on the shelves.

“We look at the Westwood Village shopping centre as a long-term investment, and we believe that our other product offerings such as beer, craft beer, spirits, coolers and cider will be more than ample enough for us to run a very successful business for up to five years. And after that time, we will add wine. As part of a long-term strategy, it made sense to make those concessions now to make sure everyone was happy.”

Coquitlam City Council still needs to amend two bylaws to allow the store to go into that location, but McKee says city staff is in favour of the changes. The new store should open in the fall.