Update: The board approved the license request.
The owners of Roslindale Liquors on Corinth Street are seeking a license to open a new liquor store at the Stop & Shop strip mall at 950 American Legion Highway, near the Hyde Park line.
The owners agreed not to sell nips at their proposed Discount Liquors, even though their attorney told the Boston Licensing Board at a hearing today that nips are a very maligned commodity, that only a very small number of people abuse them and that they are truly a boon to people who are looking to cut back on the booze, try out new liquors before committing to a full bottle or who just need small amounts of specific liquors for cooking.
Attorney Arthur Pearlman said there's a public need for a liquor store in the plaza - which would replace one that closed several years ago - because people in the neighborhood need the convenience of an easy-to-get-to store. He said the proposed store would even improve traffic in the area, because people would park at the strip mall, do their food shopping at the Stop & Shop, their drug buying at the Walgreens and then their liquor buying at his client's store, rather than going back out on local roads in search of alcohol. He added that, unlike at least one nearby store, which he did not name, Discount Liquors would be clean and well stocked.
Several nearby residents spoke in favor of the proposal, citing the convenience of a neighborhood liquor store.
However, the application was opposed by the mayor's office and the office of City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo (Roslindale, Hyde Park, Mattapan), who said the immediate area already has five liquor stores and doesn't need another.
Rick Yoder and Lisa Beatman, co-chairs of the Mt. Hope Canterbury Neighborhood Association also spoke in opposition, both to the general idea of a liquor store there and to some specific things about the proposed shop.
Like the elected officials, they said the area is already well stocked with liquor stores.
But also, they said they worry that the proposed 11 p.m. closing time for Thursday through Friday would only attract more of what Yoder called the "roving caravan of merry makers that show up late at night on the weekends" with their low riders for drag racing, ATVs and blaring music.
Yoder and Beatman added the strip mall's large parking lot - along with the large lot at the other mall up near Walk Hill Street, already poses too much of an invitation to the late-night weekend revelers. Yoder proposed a 10 p.m. closing time if the license is approved.
Also, that name? Beatman said the neighborhood already has enough problems being thought of just a highway with fast-food joints and cheapo stores and the last thing it needs is a place called Discount Liquors. The name is "very disrespectful" to what is actually a neighborhood with thousands of residents, she said. "A name like Discount Liquors sounds like 'Hey, this is a low-end neighborhood, this is where you go for low-end merchandise," she said, asking why the owners couldn't simply keep the name of their Roslindale Square store or even their corporate name, Blue Hill Liquors.
The board decides at a meeting tomorrow whether to grant an all-alcohol license for the proposed store and, if so, what sort of conditions to set on it.