The rumor is true: Charlotte County’s first Total Wine & More store is coming to Port Charlotte.

Total Wine & More Sarasota store manager Sarah Laforet confirmed that a Total Wine store will occupy the former site of Lucky’s Market which never opened.

Kroger, which had a large stake in Lucky’s Markets, decided to reduce its investment in the chain of organic markets. All but one Florida store was expected to close, according to a Jan. 21, 2020 story in The Daily Sun.

Lucky’s Market would have been located at the eastern end of Port Charlotte Marketplace, 19400 Cochran Blvd., in a 28,850-square-foot space, confirmed a spokesperson for GBT Realty, leasing company for the mall.

To the left of the former Lucky’s Market site are Sally Beauty, Ross, Burlington, HomeGoods and Skechers.

The GBT spokesperson would not confirm whether Total Wine would be the new tenant, but she did confirm a lease was signed earlier this year, and the tenant was now in the process of “due diligence” at the location.

During due diligence, a tenant has a period of time to make sure there are no issues with the property. If there are, the tenant can back out of the deal, according to Bill Dryburgh, president of Realtors of Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port-DeSoto, Inc.

“Due diligence could be as little as two weeks or 90 to 120 days,” he said.

There was no sign of activity at the former Lucky’s Marketplace on Tuesday, and the parking lot on that side of the mall was empty. Also, Lucky’s Market signage has been removed from the storefront and from Port Charlotte Marketplace signs in front of the property.

Total Wine is a large, family-owned, privately-held American alcohol retailer founded in 1991 and led by brothers David and Robert Trone.

Headquarters are in North Bethesda, Maryland. According to the company’s website, there are 214 Total Wine superstores across 26 states, with a total of 7,000 employees.

The Trone brothers opened their first small store in Delaware. Now, their stores sell more than 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits, and 2,500 beers, according to the company website.

Stores also sell cheese, crackers, other food items, and cigars at some locations, if not all.

Phone calls and emails to Total Wine headquarters were not returned.

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