Trader Joe's may be coming to Boulder next year, but it won't be bringing its signature "Two-Buck Chuck" discount wine -- or any other full-strength liquor, for that matter.

The Monrovia, Calif.-based grocer confirmed Thursday that it will use its one available Colorado liquor license to operate a wine store adjacent to its just-announced Denver location, and will not stock wine and spirits at its planned store at Twenty Ninth Street in Boulder.

Trader Joe's announced Wednesday that it will open a 14,000-square-foot store on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Denver. The chain also will operate a 3,740-square-foot wine shop next to that grocery store.

Since Colorado's liquor laws allow grocery stores and chains to apply for only one full-strength liquor license, the opening of the wine store in Denver means Trader Joe's will not sell wine and spirits at its Boulder location, company spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said. But like any other grocery store, it can stock beer that's less than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight.

Alfalfa's Market and Whole Foods each have opted to put their one liquor-licensed location in Boulder.

Trader Joe's -- a specialty grocer known for its cheap wine and unique private-label products -- announced earlier this year that it plans to open a 14,000-square-foot store at 1906 28th St., on the site of a former Applebee's restaurant at the north end of the Twenty Ninth Street mall, sometime in 2013.

'A bummer'

While anticipation of the store's opening has not waned, some residents were disappointed to learn Two-Buck Chuck -- the colloquial name for the Charles Shaw-brand discount wines the chain carries, and which these days is priced in the $3 to $4 range -- will not be on the shelves in Boulder.

"It's a staple of Trader Joe's in my opinion, so it's a bummer it's not in Boulder," University of Colorado student Ryan Koenigsberg said. "I'm still excited for the other cheap, tasty treats, but I might have to make the occasional trip down to Denver to stock up on the old Two-Buck Chuck."

Bernadette Swanson said when she lived in Ann Arbor, Mich., she would to go Trader Joe's about once every two weeks -- often to buy wine.

"A lot of the reason people went there is the inexpensive, good quality wines," she said.

Added Eliza Bennett: "It's not a huge deal, but it's not quite the same without a $3.99 bottle of wine. I certainly think they would have made a lot of money."

Race to open

With the question about which Colorado store would carry full-strength liquor now settled, the race now is on to see which Trader Joe's will open first. No groundbreaking date has been set for either location, though Trader Joe's has set a 2013 goal for opening both stores.

Denver developer Jimmy Balafas said he is pushing for that city's store to open its doors first.

"The city of Denver wants to be the first to open," Balafas said Thursday. "I hope we beat Boulder. I think we have a shot."

Twenty Ninth Street property manager JT Fulton said the mall's goal is still to open by late summer next year, and he said he's not concerned whether that means it will be the first or second Trader Joe's to open in Colorado.

"If (Balafas) wants a trophy for that, more power to him," Fulton said. "We're happy to have Trader Joe's as a partner. We were the first to get a deal done and we're excited about what they will bring to the community, and that's the main thing."

Planning approval

Thursday night, Boulder's Planning Board had been scheduled to discuss whether to call up plans related to Trader Joe's and the redevelopment proposal for the neighboring McDonald's for further discussion. Instead, board members delayed the matter until Sept. 20.

Planning Board member Mary Young indicated she was leaning toward a call-up of the Trader Joe's proposal, noting a desire to locate a door on the northwest corner of the property and concerns about pedestrian traffic from the parking lot.

Board member Sam Weaver also expressed concerns about pedestrian traffic at the proposed Trader Joe's site.

Camera Staff Writer Alicia Wallace and The Denver Post contributed to this report.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329 or