City Beat

BevMo in talks to open at former Beat record store in midtown

A well-known midtown Sacramento storefront could be going from CDs to cocktails.

Retail wine, beer and liquor chain BevMo is in talks to open a shop at 1700 J St., the former location of The Beat record store, company officials said Monday.

The company is in lease negotiations with the owners of the property and is also in discussions with the city of Sacramento over obtaining the necessary permits and liquor licenses, said company spokeswoman Kris Mulkey.

While it’s unclear how far those talks have progressed, BevMo appears serious about setting up shop along one of the central city’s busiest thoroughfares. Greg Endom, BevMo’s senior vice president of real estate, said the company has a lease agreement drafted and “all the agreements of a deal solidified.”

Richard Soehren, whose family owns the building, said in June that the family was “talking to a couple of retailers that I think would be a good fit for midtown.” Soehren could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Endom said BevMo has sought to open a store near the central city for about five years.

“We have stores right now in the surrounding areas,” he said. “What we found is that there is a huge population of our customers that are coming out of this central area and coming out to those stores (in Natomas, Citrus Heights and other areas), which makes it pretty inconvenient for them.”

BevMo operates 142 stores in the western United States, including 61 in Northern California, according to the company website. Most of the chain’s stores are around 10,000 square feet, according to the website; the property at 1700 J St. is 12,800 square feet.

The Beat closed its doors at the end of June after nearly 20 years at the corner of 17th and J streets. Store owners said they planned to transition into an online-only operation.

BevMo’s plans do not include “any substantial changes to the outside” of the building, Endom said. The building has a historic designation and the company is seeking a historic use permit from the city, he said.

“While we will miss The Beat as one of midtown’s iconic businesses, we are pleased that as BevMo is considering joining our business mix, they are focused on the historical integrity of the building, a public art component and being a good neighbor to our community,” said Emily Baime Michaels, the executive director of the Midtown Business Association.