Data Tracker

Liquor stores plentiful in parts of Sacramento region

By Brad Branan -

A downtown Sacramento neighborhood including K Street has more liquor licenses than any other neighborhood in the capital region and one of the highest totals in the state.

The census tract running from Capitol Mall to 21st Street, and from R Street to H Street, has 186 licenses for the sale of alcohol on or off premises, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis of data from the California Department Alcohol Beverage Control.

That is the fourth highest number of liquor licenses out of all the census tracts in the state. The capital district trails only two tracts in San Diego, including the Gaslight District, a downtown San Francisco area, and a tract in Santa Barbara.

ABC limits the number of off sale licenses to one per every 2,500 residents and on sale licenses to one per every 2,000 residents.

However, local authorities can bypass those restrictions by making a finding that "public convenience and necessity" is served by issuing a license. As a result, many areas have more licenses than allowed under the population quotas, data shows.

In Sacramento County, some decisions to grant liquor licenses have been controversial, such as when the Board of Supervisors recently approved a license for a WinCo Foods grocery opening on Watt and El Camino avenues. While area residents had a list of objections to the store, they were most vocal about allowing alcohol sales in an area with an abundance of bars and retail stores selling liquor, as well as its share of alcohol-related crime and nuisances.

The store's census tract has 12 liquor licenses.

This map shows the number of liquor licenses by census tract. Darker tracts have more licenses.

Alcohol sales licenses by census tract