Fenway Star Market gets a liquor license; small Hyde Park restaurant doesn't

The Boston Licensing Board last week looked into its bag of packie licenses, found it had one and awarded it to Shaw's, after determining its managers were of high moral character and had proved a public need for an aisle of beer, wine and spirits at its Star Market on Boylston Street.

Unfortunately for the owners of Zaz on River Street in Hyde Park, though, the board determined it had no spare beer-and-wine licenses for restaurants and so deferred action on its request for a license. The vote means Zaz can re-apply, on the unlikely event somebody simply returns a license to the board, or it can try to buy one on the open market - at a cost of upwards of $50,000 plus the board's annual license renewal fees.

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Comments

Huzzah!

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The Puritans are pleased, and all is well in 1736!

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Why

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Do they bother having a restaurant owner come in and plead their case if they don't have any licenses available? Are they hoping they find one laying under their seat at the time of the hearing? The entire board needed to "determine" whether they had licenses or they didn't?

I also love that it's up to this Board to decide if the managers are of "high moral character". Who vetted them?

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The Governor

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Since Beacon Hill took over control of the city of Boston, the Governor gets to decide who gets to decide if the managers are of high moral character.

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What a racket

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How does denying this restaurant a license benefit anyone other than the board itself to justify its useless existence? Hey Licensing board, you are a sap off the Boston tax payer, go die in a gutter.

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Well

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It benefits the board, and all of the current license holders. Less competition is exactly what we need!

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Does buying a license on the

Does buying a license on the open market generate any sales taxes for the state? I can't believe that this situation (i.e. the limiting of the number of liquor licenses) doesn't result in some kind of kickback payments for the politicians and/or officials involved.

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Uhh

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Why do you think it's so hard to get the # of licenses increased? I'm sure it has nothing to do with current license-holders and possible influence they may hold over sitting politicians. ;-)

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True...

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I imagine them hearing all of "testimony" from the restaurant owner and then huddling up for 10-15 minutes before coming back to their seats and saying "yeahhhhh, we still don't have any licenses".

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Not quite yet

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I don't know if it's all tied into their mega-Wegmans-killer redo, but even if not, they have to clear an aisle, install doors and locks and stuff for the hours they're not allowed to sell booze (like, say, Sunday morning) and even rejigger their cash registers (to block liquor sales during off hours).

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The Fenway Star Market is organized in a strange way

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The Fenway Star Market is organized in a strange way. Possibly due to it's small size. Currently the Italian section (pasta, sauce, etc) is in a kind of alcove when you walk in the door, which feels separate from the rest of the store. That might be the place to put the booze section. But then where would they put the Italian section?

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Many years ago there used to

Many years ago there used to be a liquor store inside that Star - just to the right as you came in.

And I don't know about locks and doors. Whole Foods in Dedham just puts up a sign No Alcohol Sales until Noon.

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First off

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Zaz isn't a restaurant, it a takeout place.

And second, the Fenway Star Market probably serves more people in an hour than Zaz does in a week.

Very objective and unbiased title Adam, tell us how you really feel.

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Have you actually been in Zaz?

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It's a small restaurant, I'll grant you, but you can eat dinner there. I have. And it's a pretty pleasant experience (now, the Jamaican place it replaced was takeout only).

Second, if you'd read the entire post (it's not hard, it's what, three paragraphs?), you'd see there are two different types of licenses in play here. Totally apples and oranges. No bias involved - that Star Market got a license is not the reason Zaz didn't. I could have written two separate posts (like I did last week), but I got lazy and wrote one.

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Ya

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I HAVE! You order and pay at a counter after reading their handwritten menu on a wall.

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So....

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because they don't have a waiter/waitress, that means they don't "need" to sell beer or wine? Contrary to popular belief, some people enjoy having a beer or a glass of wine with their meal. It's not always to get rip-roaring drunk.

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Maybe they

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Could charge $5 at the counter for a Red Solo Cup and place a keg in the middle of the room.

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Ya know

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Last summer, I was driving through Dudley Square. I stopped at a red light when I noticed something I am almost ashamed to admit. Ayanna Pressley, who has inherited my mantle of "City Councilor Who Is Too Full of Themselves" from Connolly (previously held by Murphy, yup, there's a chain there) was right about the need for more licenses to serve in the neighborhoods. I was looking at the food options, and they were all of the takeaway variety.

I probably drink as much alcohol in a year as many do on a "night out", so whether or not I can buy a beer or glass of wine when I go out to eat is lost on me, but I am convinced that somehow others would be more inclined to eat in if they could imbibe with their meals. If Dudley Square had more dine in options, it would give more life to the area in the evenings, as it was back in the day.

So, perhaps Zaz is looking to upgrade, and sees having a liquor license as a way to get the business.

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I know everyone loves to hate

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I know everyone loves to hate on Shaws/Star but their location in Copley has an excellent liquor section, especially for wine and beer. This one will obviously be smaller but it'll be nicer than the packie down the street.

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