Last call for alcohol ...

Borderline has watched with great amusement the TV commercials for and against Question 1, which proposes that grocery stores be allowed to sell wine. Not surprisingly, the grocery stores are for it, while the local liquor stores (aka package stores, packies) are against it.

I saw a pro-grocery store ad last night, and it was a hoot. Packies are represented by fuzzy, neon signs at night. The grocery stores are well-lit bastions of civility, where a good-looking professional couple are smilingly picking up a bottle of wine.

But all this makes me wonder: Didn't Star Market in Newtonville sell booze until three or four years ago? Right in the back of the store? It was the only supermarket that I know of that was able to sell wine and beer, and it was very convenient. And then suddenly they got rid of it. How did Star/Shaws manage that for so long, and just in that store?



Anonymous adamg said...

I think current law is a license holder can have up to three licenses anywhere in the state, so maybe they figured another location would be more profitable? Omni Foods on Rte. 9 still sells wine.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Borderline said...

Ah, well, that explains a lot. I've never been down to Omni, but I do know that Star/Shaws has a ton of good local competition in Newtonville ... Marty's is just two minutes away on Washington Street, and it is really, really good -- the people there know wine, and it's roughly the same size as Martignetti's in Brighton. You're right, there probably is someplace more profitable for Star/Shaw's.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous davo said...

The Star in Cambridge on Mt Auburn St sells wine and liquor.

The whole system is bizarre. Some stores can sell wine, but other's cannot: Trader Joes in Camb and B'line sell wine, but not Newtonville or Needham. Whole Foods sells wine in Camb, but not in either Newton store. (Hey, wait a minute...I'm moving back to Cambridge!)

Yes, Marty's is good but not the friendliest place to buy wine for someone who is not a connoisseur or a big spender.

3:56 PM  
Blogger tallasiandude said...

Actually, I got some insight into this just the other day. I was at the Stop and Shop on Watertown St in Watertown and made a comment about their question one fliers and how they used to sell alcohol back when it was a Purity Supreme.

The cashier told me that apparently it was actually Gordon's Liquors selling beer and wine (who left when they opened their own store nearby). I presume it was operated in a similar fashion to the Dunkin' Donuts franchise they have in there now.

I have heard about the three licenses thing, which is why only a few of the Trader Joe's sell wine.

12:38 AM  

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