Market 32 to sell beer, wine beginning next January
Selectmen approved a beer and wine license for the new Market 32, which is currently under construction on Route 146 northbound, even though the store can’t use it for another year.
At a recent public hearing, the Board learned that under state law a company is allowed to hold only five alcohol licenses and Price Chopper is at the max, with licenses in Lennox, Pittsfield, Shrewsbury, Worcester and Webster. But the law will change to seven next January.
The company could not stock or sell alcohol in the new Sutton store when it opened this summer and has no plans to do so until 2016 said Price Chopper attorney, Howard Wayne. He explained that the store was being designed so that the future alcohol sales area could be closed off from the rest of the store by a pull-down gate until they could legally hold the license in 2016. It would also work during those hours when the store was not allowed to sell alcohol even after it got the license. If the selectmen could tell Price Chopper that it could get the license at the beginning of 2016 then it could go ahead and construct the alcohol sales area, he said, asking that the Board hold a license for them starting in 2016.
Price Chopper’s regional manager, Robert Hewitt, said that a store manager was not yet selected for the Sutton store, but expressed that the company has a handle on how to manage the alcohol sales business including carding patrons. He said that if an under-aged license is produced that the cash register is automatically locked up and a manager is summoned.
Town administrator Jim Smith said the town had two beer and wine licenses available and assured Selectmen that issuing a license early was legal.