By SCOTT JACKSON
City officials granted a retail beer and wine license to a convenience store inside the Munroe Building in Quincy Center over the objection of several residents and nearby business owners.
The Board of License Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a transfer of the retail beer and wine license previously held by Franklin Beer & Wine, 55 Franklin St., to Richdale Convenience at 1205 Hancock St.
The approval means Richdale Convenience, which is already open inside the Munroe Building, will soon be able to sell beer and wine on site. Sales of alcohol there will be permitted between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Additional license board approval would be needed if the store’s owner, Paritosh Patel, wished to sell beer and wine starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
Patel owns several Richdale stores on the North Shore, and also owns a liquor store at 380 Granite St. in Brewers Corner.
Health Commissioner Drew Scheele, the chairman of the license board, read six letters opposing the license transfer. Among those opposed were the owners of two other businesses in the Munroe Building.
Lisa Lamme, owner of Gypsy Kitchen at 1241 Hancock St., was one of those opposed. She said the immediate area in Quincy Center already has enough stores selling beer and wine – her shop sells wine and craft beer, and Goodies Minimart inside Presidents Place at 1250 Hancock St. does as well – and more unique retail is needed to improve the downtown.
“What is so revolutionary about another convenience store having a wine and malt license that is going to improve Quincy Center? Moving forward with this license transfer does not benefit the city that is creating unique shopping experiences for customers,” Lamme said.
“Quincy needs to attract shopping boutiques, gift stores, clothing shops and other unique retail.”
Lesley Tzanetos, owner of Gunther Tooties at 1253 Hancock St., said the area around the Quincy Center MBTA station is beset with vandalism, drug dealing, begging, and “unconscious drunk people laying around.”
“We should work together to keep those bad behaviors out of the area [and] not encourage them by having another liquor store outside of the T station,” Tzanetos said,
Squantum resident Faye Anderson also opposed the transfer in a letter to the board, saying Quincy should focus on other business types –a high-quality Thai restaurant or movie theater, for example – to boost the downtown.
“Another liquor license to a convenience store in the center of Quincy is redundant. Let’s think of other types of businesses and services to revitalize the City of Presidents,” Anderson said.
Rob Fleming, the attorney representing Patel, said applicant has been proactive in addressing concerns regarding the Brewers Corner location and would be at the Quincy Center store as well – and said beer and wine would just be another product for Richdale’s customers.
“It really has to be thought of us not just an entity or a store that sells beer and wine. This is a store of convenience. He services the residents of Munroe Place as well as others in the area. This is just another product he will be selling,” Fleming said.
“He’s been operating on Granite Street for the last 10 months. He’s been proactive in doing things there to address any concerns that that area has had…I feel he’ll do that here as well.”
Patel said he plans to install additional surveillance cameras inside the store, and will use a special ID scanner to card all patrons under the age of 35.
Police Chief Paul Keenan said the beer and wine license would neither add to nor detract from the area, and would simply give Patel permission to sell additional items in his store.
“What he’s looking to do is just sell two more products – essentially –beer and wine. We wouldn’t be having this discussion if he was talking about milk and bread. He sells convenience items, beer and wine are a convenience item, so I don’t have any real objection to it,” Keenan said.
“I don’t think it’s going to add to the area, but I don’t think it’s going to detract from the area either.”
In other business Tuesday, the Board of License Commissioners:
Approved a common victualler license for Five Guys Burgers & Fries, which is set to open inside Presidents Place at 1250 Hancock St., in the storefront previously home to Weight Watchers. Owner Sean Olson said he hopes to open by the end of the December and the Quincy Center location will offer the burgers, fries, shakes and free peanuts the chain is known for.
Returned the all alcohol license previously transferred to Beachcomber Bounty Inc. back to Boulevard Haven Inc., the operator of the now closed Beachcomber on Quincy Shore Drive. The two entities had reached an agreement to sell the Beachcomber that fell through once a man who collected $1.3 million from investors failed to show up at the closing earlier this fall. The man, who called himself Eugene Grathwohl, is wanted by police and believed to be behind fraud cases in New York and Florida.
Approved a one-day beer and wine license for the Houghs Neck Chili Fest, which is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2017, at the Houghs Neck Congregational Church, 310 Manet Ave.
Approved a one-day liquor license for the Haiti Health Alliance, which is scheduled for Saturday inside 108 Myrtle St. in North Quincy.
Continued to a future meeting the request of George Athanasopoulos for a common victualler license for the 1054 Hancock St., currently the Early American. The hearing was continued because the applicant was not present.