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In the City that Always Sleeps, you don't just start a 24-hour snack delivery service without police taking notice

Boston Liquors, 225-227 Cambridge St. in Allston, had the first of two hearings before the Boston Licensing Board this morning on the issue of whether a 24-hour service that delivers snacks, napkins and other convenience-store wares should be allowed to keep using its basement.

Boston Police cited the liquor store twice, on April 20 and April 27, first for "premise operating 24-hour deliver service (food) out of basement" and then for all the cars double parking outside the place at all hours of the night. Both are related to the liquor store's contract with GoPuff, a company that hopes to succeed where first-gen dotcom Kozmo.com failed - delivering convenience-store products around the clock to college students too busy to make a 7-Eleven run and other local insomniacs.

Boston Liquors attorney Caroline Conway told the board that Allston Liquors is a part of the GoPuff network both because it had space in its basement the start-up could use as a distribution center and because GoPuff will deliver booze from the store - but only up until 10:30 p.m., a half hour before the liquor store itself closes, Conway emphasized.

Conway said Allston Liquors should not have been cited for the 24-hour operation because the law used to haul it before the licensing board refers to "innholders and common victuallers" who prepare food on premises, and neither Allston Liquors nor GoPuff prepare any food on premises, or anywhere else.

But BPD Sgt. Det. William Gallagher said the issue is not so much as food preparation as whether the basement - which is licensed specifically to Allston Liquors for use as part of its liquor sales - can be used by another company for the service.

He added that police learned about the operation when officers on patrol started noticing lots of cars double parked on Cambridge Street throughout the night. Conway said those were individuals side hustling as delivery drivers for GoPuff.

Gallagher said he is concerned with the issue of liquor deliveries in a neighborhood filled with college students. He said Boston College has had problems with another GoPuff affiliate making deliveries on its campus.

The board decides Thursday whether Allston Liquors is in violation of the 24-hour-delivery-service rule and, if so, what to do about it. The hearing next week is about the double parking.

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Comments

They got White Castle cheeseburgers and Diet Dr Pepper.

They have a category called "dranks" but it isn't what I thought it would be. Promethazine is not a big thing in Boston yet, I guess.

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Voting closed 15

For those times when you're also hangry?

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Voting closed 16

Back in the mid-80's when I lived down the street in Lower Allston, this liquor store was still a local "grocery" store. They had a weirdly under-stocked deli, a few shelves of dust-covered groceries and coolers of beer. In the windows, they had large hand-written signs advertising various odd items they had for sale. Consistent among those signs was one advertising "Frog Legs". Since the store at that time lacked a proper business sign, my roommates and I always just referred to the place as Frog Legs.

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Voting closed 22

Across the street from the Merit station.

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Voting closed 12

I was going to look up where this store was, but calling it "Frog Legs" is better directions than any map!

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Voting closed 13

We don't much drive by there anymore (not much reason now that we're in Roslindale), but, yes, whenever my wife or I do have reason to go past there, one of us will yell "Frog legs!"

And, yeah, the Merit station was where I'd fill up before getting on the 'Pike for the drive out to work in Framingham.

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Voting closed 21

How does anything get done in this city with all these ridiculous regulations?

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Voting closed 31

Eh, there are so many issues going on in the city right now, I just can't be outraged. ...needles in parks, homelessness, 8 yr. old kids getting shot, affordable housing, pedestrians getting hit by cars, women being assaulted in broad daylight, etc. But y'all rage on about not having snacks delivered to your doorstop at 3AM if you're so inclined.

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Voting closed 6

It's possible to deal with more than one thing at a time.

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Voting closed 11