Local Winn-Dixie store approved for 'sip and shop'

The new Baymeadows location could allow customers to drink beer and wine while they shop for groceries.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Longtime Jacksonville grocery chain Winn-Dixie is laying the groundwork to change how you shop for groceries.

The grocer has received all the approvals needed to allow drink sales to people while they shop at their newly renovated store in Baymeadows, but the bar for shoppers isn't a done deal yet.

Upgrades like an in store barista and pizza maker are already making an impression.

"Tremendous upgrades in people and selection, cleanliness, attitude, the whole thing," Ken Weinstein said.

The Jacksonville Planning Commission last week approved alcohol sales to shoppers inside the store, meaning you could drink a beer or a glass of wine while filling your cart.

"I'm not a drinker myself, but I think it's something that would add to the experience," said shopper Ed Thomas. "A couple weeks ago, they had some people playing music on a Friday night. I thought that was pretty interesting and pretty nice. I think a wine bar would be a nice addition."

The possibility of sales had to get extra approval from Jacksonville's Planning Commission because it's too close to a church and school under normal zoning rules.

At this time we have no immediate plans for implementation of additional features," said Joe Caldwell, the Southeastern Grocers communications manager Joe Caldwell. "We're always looking for ways to improve the store's features."

Two other stores on the First Coast already offer what some are calling 'sip and shop'.

Whole Foods in Mandarin and Lucky's Market in Neptune Beach have beer and wine available while you fill up your cart.

"It's an atmosphere thing," Thomas said. "It's very clean and it brings energy to the store."

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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