Will it have a liquor store?
That’s the question Longboat residents wanted answered when Publix first announced plans to build a new Key store.
Well, Longboaters raise your glasses. Because the answer to that question is: yes.
Publix spokeswoman Shannon Patten confirmed the Lakeland-based chain will open a Publix Liquors in the space next to the grocery store at 523 Bay Isles Parkway.
“Our Longboat Key customers can expect to see it open within the next few weeks, but the opening date has not been finalized at this time,” Patten wrote in an email to the Longboat Observer.
Publix filed plans to build a new 49,000-square-foot store in June 2011. During the Longboat Key Planning & Zoning Board hearing in December 2011, Publix agent Michael Leeds said the liquor-store question was the most common one he had received about the project.
Antony V’s liquor store operated in the Avenue of the Flowers plaza before Publix construction began last year.
The new store opened Dec. 13, although Publix officials still didn’t announce whether a liquor store would open.
Currently, the island is without a liquor store, although Harry’s Continental Kitchens sells package liquor in its restaurant.
Richard Juliani, co-owner of Whitney Beach Plaza, confirmed in December he plans to put a liquor store and bar in the shopping center after renovations are completed.
The liquor store isn’t the only thing Publix still has in the bag for the Key. On Friday, March 8, installation of a sculpture the chain agreed to donate to the town will begin. Patten didn’t have details immediately available.
The new Publix also has a pharmacy area that isn’t currently in operation.
As part of its agreement with CVS, which also has a new store at the Publix-owned shopping center, the grocery chain will delay opening the pharmacy during its first 16 months of operation.