New Chattanooga Aldi store misses on beer application

New Chattanooga Aldi store misses on beer application

October 18th, 2018 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

This story was updated Oct. 18, 2018, at 6:24 p.m. with more information.

Discount grocer Aldi opened a new Chattanooga store on Signal Mountain Road on Thursday, but don't expect to buy your beer there — at least for a couple of weeks.

The Chattanooga Beer/Wrecker Board declined to consider a beer permit after the company couldn't provide the phone number of the new store.

Board attorney Keith Reisman said the city ordinance requires a landline phone number with the application. If anything goes wrong, the store personnel can call 911, the phone number will show up and police can respond, he said.

"We do that with every single beer permit," Reisman said. "It's purely for health and safety."

Tyler Hand, an attorney for Aldi, tried to find out the number at the meeting, and he was given more time to do so. But, he couldn't locate the number before the meeting was adjourned with officials agreeing to pass on the Aldi application until the board gathers again Nov. 1.

Hand said after the meeting that wasn't sure why the phone number wasn't supplied with the application and declined further comment.

At the new Aldi at Signal Mountain Road and Mountain Creek Road, business was brisk just before noon Thursday.

But a section of shelves set aside for beer sales was empty except for a sign that read: "It's Un-Beerable but it's hoppin soon. Beer permit submitted."

The new store location takes up part of a former Kmart site, which sits on a 9.5-acre parcel.

For the past several years, the former Kmart building had been home to B&B Discount Sales.

A Tractor Supply Co. store opened a few weeks ago on the other side of the tract. That retail chain offers products for home improvement, agriculture, and lawn and garden maintenance as well as livestock, equine and pet care goods.

The Aldi store is a new entry to the grocery mix in that area of the city. Both Food City and Walmart are located nearby on Signal Mountain Road. A Save-A-Lot store sits not far away in Red Bank.

In 2017, Aldi announced a plan to ramp up U.S. expansion with a goal of 2,500 stores by the end of 2022, which includes the new unit. The company planned to invest $3.4 billion.

With that growth, Aldi will be the third largest grocery chain by count in the U.S. and serve more than 40 million customers per month, according to the company.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.