DENIED: No new liquor store coming to Miami County after all, state says

One of the three new liquor stores that were supposed to be coming to the Dayton area will not be happening after all because state officials  have rejected applications for it.

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A spokeswoman for the Ohio Division of Liquor Control has confirmed to this news outlet that no contract will be awarded for what had been envisioned as a new liquor store in Piqua.

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The division of liquor control received three applications for the new Piqua store, which was to be located within a two-mile radius of a location on East Ash Street (Ohio 36) in the city. Two applications were evaluated and rejected because they did not meet minimum requirements, the spokeswoman said, while a third applicant withdrew an application because the applicant was awarded a contract in a different region.

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The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control had announced in November that it was seeking to add 20 new liquor-agency stores statewide, including three in the greater Dayton area, and invited entrepreneurs and potential store owners to submit applications to be awarded those state liquor agencies. The state does not mandate a specific location for the new stores, but instead identifies points on a map in areas its research suggests are under-served, and invites potential applicants to pitch business plans for stores within a two-mile radius of that spot.

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Last week, liquor-control officials confirmed that a contract for a new Mason location had been awarded to Arrow Wine & Spirits, which operates two Dayton-area stores in Kettering and Washington Twp. The contract award recipient for a new state liquor agency in south Centerville has not been announced.

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The applications are evaluated and scored based on several criteria. Applicants must have experience operating a retail business or equivalent experience, and must have sufficient financial resources to establish and manage a retail business, according to the division of liquor control’s web site.

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Last year, attempts to add a state liquor store in Fairborn fizzled when liquor-control officials determined none of applications met the standards.

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Jim Canepa, superintendent of the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, told this news outlet last year that there had been “no thoughtful strategy” in recent years of how to grow the liquor business that the state essentially owns and operates.

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“We will look for spaces to tap into revenue,” he said. Under Canepa’s leadership, the division of liquor control will attempt to demystify spirits and focus on the stories behind some of the craft spirits available — and being produced — in the state, much as Ohio craft breweries and wineries have done, the superintendent said.

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“We want to develop a new customer experience,” while also promoting responsible consumption, Canepa said.

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