The province says it won't privatize existing government-owned liquor stores like this one, but has opened the door to have private operators open new stores. (CBC)

The Saskatchewan government is taking another step toward new private liquor stores in the province.

It had previously announced that three privately owned stores could be built in the two biggest cities — two in Saskatoon and one in Regina.

Now the government is distributing a request-for-proposals document with more details about what it's looking for.

It says in Saskatoon, there's growing customer demand in the Blairmore neighbourhood in the west, the Stonebridge area in the south and the 8th Street East area in the southeast.

In Regina, they're looking at filling a need in the Rochale area in the northwest and the Victoria Avenue East area on the eastern edge of the city.

However, applicants can make proposals for whatever neighbourhoods they're interested in, the government says.

There is already "significant interest" from people who want to open a private liquor store, said Donna Harpauer, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.

The deadline for people to apply is January 31, 2013.

The move to new private liquor stores is one of a series of measures concerning liquor that the province has announced in recent weeks. It has also said it will allow semi-nude strip-tease shows in licensed establishments and allow customers to bring their own wine into licensed restaurants.

The government has drawn the line at selling off the existing 79 government-owned liquor stores, however. The Saskatchewan Party promised during the election campaign that it would not do that.