Tipsy's rising as a monument to barley, hops and spirits

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By Matt Gunn

Rising like a cathedral at the base of the Dakota Ridge, Tipsy’s Liquor World will soon be a destination for those who seek blessing from a different type of spirit.

Billed as Colorado’s largest single liquor store, Tipsy’s is impossible to miss at West Bowles Avenue and South Alkire Street. The retailer stands to become a landmark in the still-developing C-470 Corridor.

“For me it’s really the bellwether of the kind of project that we’re going to see along the C-470 Corridor,” said Preston Gibson, president of the Jefferson Economic Council.

He said the store’s size, quality and ownership make it stand apart in the newer field of liquor superstores.

“We don’t typically look at a liquor store as being the type of business that we focus on as an economic industry,” Gibson said. “Because of the quality of the store, because of the size of the store, it’s going to attract people from outside of the county who are going to spend some dollars at the store.”

John Wolforth, Jefferson County planning director, said Tipsy’s site development plan was signed and recorded in September 2006, and that construction began shortly thereafter.

“The building coverage is 70,265 square feet,” Wolforth said. “The landscape itself is 137,057 square feet.”

The total building size — space that falls inside that 70,265-square-foot footprint — is 84,106 square feet. That includes total retail area within the building, which will also feature a restaurant called Twig’s Wine Bar.

Wolforth said the entire site development plan covers 401,423 square feet, or roughly 7.77 acres. That number includes the building, landscaping and 358-space parking lot.

Much of the exterior work appears to be done, with some roofing work taking place last week.

The store’s general manager, Mike Heflebower, said the business is still 60 to 90 days from opening.

Tipsy’s was unable to provide an in-depth interview despite multiple requests for information.

“The people that are developing this liquor store are very high-quality people who want to only develop the highest quality projects that they can,” Gibson said.

And with the opening of Tipsy’s Liquor World comes the potential of increased competition for owners of smaller stores.

Scott Swafford, a manager at Dakota Ridge Wine and Spirits at 11614 W. Belleview Ave, said the store has been there since 2002 and it’s not making any plans to move.

Dakota Ridge Wine and Spirits is a small store in a strip mall with a gas station, bar and grill, and a handful of other shops. It relies on neighborhood business, and is able to pull in customers who are in the shopping center for multiple reasons.

“I offer convenience,” Swafford said. “You can walk five steps from your car and be out in two minutes.”

He says customers’ time is valuable, and a small store has the advantage of easy-to-locate items and a quick check-out.

Gibson said that, from his conversations with the Tipsy’s ownership, the complex will offer more than just a liquor store. He likened it to a California winery that offers not just wine and liquor, but gourmet food and atmosphere as well.

“It’s going to be similar to that, but it’s going to be inside because of our winter weather here,” Gibson said.

Some local store owners believe Tipsy’s might also be able to position itself as a discounter because of its purchasing power and space to spare.

Contact Matt Gunn at matt@evergreenco.com.