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Selectmen Christopher Donato and Jon Witten voted unanimously to amend

Foodie’s liquor license to allow owner Victor Leon to showcase bottles of wine in different parts of his store, providing that he hangs a plan showing the layout of the store with the locations of the displays on a store wall where a town inspector can see it.  Selectmen required the plan to be stamped by an engineer. Selectmen Chairman Betsy Sullivan recused herself on this issue and left the meeting room because the bank she works for has done business with Leon.

The selectmen’s action was a reversal of a vote they took last October. Then, selectmen felt that having displays of wine scattered throughout the store would be difficult for an inspector to measure to make sure Foodie’s was complying with the 522 square feet of liquor display area it was allowed. Foodie’s owners appealed the selectmen’s denial to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, which remanded the issue back to selectmen and recommended that they approve the license change as long as Foodie’s provides a plan “which visually establishes the perimeters of the licensed areas requested.”

Robert Allen, Leon’s attorney, showed selectmen the plan for the wine kiosks. It shows two three-case displays of wine located near the deli section and one ten-case display on the edge of the produce area. Four displays will be positioned near the cheese and appetizer aisle and one more will be near the butcher’s area.

Allen said Leon felt placing wine near different items with which it can be paired would help his business.

“He wanted to do cross-promotional advertising,” said Allen, who added that Leon was out of state and could not attend the public hearing.

Allen said that Foodie’s could use the extra business that the displays may bring because he said “it’s been a challenge” for Leon to run the store during these uncertain economic times. Allen added that Leon does have small wine displays in different locations at his South Boston store.

Witten said he had no problems amending Foodie’s liquor license now that the issue of enforceability of the 522 square feet of liquor display space was solved with the plan on the wall.

“I’m good with it,” Witten said.

 

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