The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let a company that already runs a mini-packie in New York's Penn Station open a similar liquor kiosk in the South Station commuter-rail waiting area.
Land of Beer says it sees a good market in hard-charging downtown workers who get out late but want to come home with a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer without having to detour to a more traditional liquor store before they get home.
Nearby Leather District residents expressed concern about grab-and-go alcohol contributing to South Station's existing problems. At a hearing today, board member Liam Curran expressed concern about people creating ad-hoc bar cars on their rides home. Transit Police and the T itself wrote the board to vehemently oppose the idea of alcohol to go in South Station.
Land of Beer attorney Marci Costa said the kiosk would have several measures to ensure the 480-square-foot store doesn't increase public drunkenness: It won't sell nips or singles, all the bottles and cans will be behind the counter and there will be a security guard. Also, she said, the prices will discourage brown bagging: A bottle of wine that would go for $12.99 at a conventional liquor store will set commuters back $18.99, she said.
She added that in response to Leather District concerns, Land of Beer has agreed to scale back its originally proposed closing time from 11 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Costa said the station area hadn't seen any issues with the to-go drinks offered by the Tavern-in-the-Square mini-bar during the pandemic.