North Adams License Board Advises Against Home-Rule Petition
The Licensing Board on Tuesday voted not to support any actions toward a home-rule petition to add another all-alcoholic retail license in the city.
iBerkshires.com reports David Atwell, owner of Dave's Package Store at the corner of Eagle and River streets, had approached the commission seeking information about how he could gain a license to sell hard liquor.
Atwell said it was feedback from his customers over the past year that had lead him to consider changing his license.
There had been a bit of musical chairs action related to Atwell's location. The liquor store business, Lopardo's, had been established in 1933 by Michael Lopardo and moved to the River Street site in 1959 following the demolition of its previous building during the Central Artery Project.
The business closed a few years ago and was purchased by the former River Street Package Store when its location farther west on River was purchased and demolished. V&V (Steeple City Spirits), which also had at first sought a home-rule petition to expand its offerings, bought its all-alcohol license and the package store reverted to a new wine and beer license. Then River Street closed and Atwell bought the building and applied for a new package store license a year ago.
When V&V had requested a home-rule petition in 2014, the Licensing Board had recommended against it.
The city has four all-alcohol licenses. That's one more than it should have, according to the state, which sets the ratio at one license to every 5,000 people.
Chairman Jeffrey Polucci said Atwell could still pursue a home-rule petition through the mayor's office or City Council but "you would still have to come back to us to accept it."
Among the reasons the board gave for not recommending was "saturation of the area," which had also led them to reject a beer and wine license last year for EZ Mart on Ashland Street. At that time, Dave's had been included as part of the saturation.
"There's a lot of concern about how many there are in a very small area," said member Peter Breen, referencing the two other downtown stores Whitney's and V&V.
In other business, the board approved a one-day application for beer and wine from Jessica Sweeney for Roots Teen Center fundraising event at the Norad Mill at 60 Roberts Drive on Friday, April 12.