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    New Kowalski's Unit has Wine Store on Tap <br />

    The freestanding shop, set to open adjacent to Kowalski's soon-to-open Eagan store, is the grocer's first foray into wine and liquor sales.

    Kowalski's Markets will begin selling wine and liquor at a shop beside a store that's on track to open later this fall. If all goes well at this shop, the local grocer said it plans to roll out the concept to several other of its Twin Cities locations.

    The new wine and liquor shop is set to open adjacent to the Woodbury, Minn.-based grocer's new Eagan store currently under construction. Minnesota law requires grocery stores to sell wine and liquor from a store with a separate entrance.

    After a three-month test, the grocer will consider renovating existing locations to make way for additional wine shops. "If there's a good response, then it's just a matter of which store will be next," said Kris Kowalski Christiansen, the eight-store independent's c.o.o., quoted in local press reports. "We could have a couple more opened in 2009, but not all of them."
     
    The executive said the standalone units "will offer predominantly wine, with a small sampling of hard liquor and beer."

    Kowalski's and other Minnesota supermarket operators have long tried to persuade state legislators to pass legislation that would allow wine to be sold in grocery stores.

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