Newton Board Denies Liquor License for New Star Market

The Newton Tab reports that in a unanimous vote, the Newton Licensing Board has denied a beer and wine license for a new Star Market supermarket on Boylston Street.

During a public hearing on Feb. 21, licensing commissioners Martina Jackson and James Mitchell agreed that Star Market is a good corporate citizen, but said the Chestnut Hill area is already well served by three liquor stores, including Urban Grape (owned by a Wesleyan friend, Hadley Morash), GPS Wine & Spirits and Winestone.

Jackson, who serves as board chairwoman, was also worried there wouldn’t be enough evening staff to ensure minors can’t buy alcohol.

“I think there is legitimacy in the concern of staffing at night, when you think it would be the most vulnerable time for the sale or attempted sales to minors, especially considering the proximity to Boston College and other institutions,” she said.

The Newton Tab reports that at the hearing in Newton City Hall, Star Market company attorney Jon Aieta said store managers planned to move the Wild Harvest health food section and replace it with a traditional wine and beer selection. He said the section would take up 1,500 square feet, or 4 percent, of the store.

“Based on the other [Star Markets], the average for wine was in the $9 to $10 range. We’re looking to fill a void that’s not serviced in this area, and they do want to have traditional domestic beers and wines. They’ll also have some craft beers and some high-end wines, but they want to have everything based on what the customers want,” Aieta said.

About 25 Newton and Brookline residents showed up for the hearing, in opposition to the application. Nobody spoke in favor of the license.

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