Woolworths is hoping to succeed where Coles has so far failed in Maylands by overcoming community opposition in the inner-east suburb to big box liquor stores.
Having gained planning approval for a redevelopment of the Peninsula Tavern, Woolworths' majority-owned ALH Group is seeking a green light from the Liquor Commission to include a 990sqm Dan Murphy's store at the rear of the site.
A five-year effort by Coles to build a standalone 1250sqm liquor superstore on a nearby site ended with a Supreme Court loss last year.
ALH's plan to knock down and rebuild the Peninsula suffered a setback when a development approval panel rejected it on planning grounds. But the plan was ultimately backed by the State Administrative Tribunal.
"I wouldn't say it's been a battle," ALH national property manager Barry Cloke said. "We've certainly gone through the right processes and procedures and we've come out the other end with our planning approval."
The group is preparing to submit within the next month an application to redefine the site's liquor licence to allow the bigger bottle shop. The Railway Parade site now has a smaller drive-through BWS store.
Mr Cloke said ALH stood a better chance than Coles' proposal, which had required a new licence. The proposed Dan Murphy's would be walk-in only and have reduced trading hours.
The Peninsula is one of 12 pubs ALH acquired from the collapsed Compass Hotel Group. ALH held a community information session about the redevelopment at the tavern last week.
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker said the scale of the liquor store made the redevelopment unacceptable in a suburb with a history of anti-social drinking.
"The size of the tavern area is tiny," Ms Baker said. "The majority of the building will be about selling cheap liquor."
She said community opposition to the plan was being mobilised in the area, which was already home to 16 liquor stores.
She also feared the potential impact on small independent operators.
The application process is expected to take at least six months. Woolworths last month described WA's liquor licensing regime as the most cumbersome and costly in Australia.