The Boston Licensing Board could decide tomorrow whether to let Jamie's Variety, 113 H St., at the corner of East 5th St., sell beer and wine.
At a hearing this morning, several South Boston residents supported owner Indravadan Patel's request for a beer-and-wine package-store license. They praised Patel as a good member of the community and said beer and wine in his store would prove a boon to senior citizens living across the street, who would no longer have to make the somewhat dangerous trek up to Broadway to buy beer or wine.
"Us older people, us retired people, don't want to go up to East Broadway," one supporter, a retired Boston cop, said.
They were joined by the mayor's office, which supported Patel's request.
His attorney, Rashi Mangalick, added Patel would not sell nips or single bottles of beer.
But opponents, who included city councilors Michael Flaherty and Annissa Essaibi George, said enough's enough. South Boston is already "oversaturated with liquor stores," and not every corner store or gas station needs to sell alcohol, an aide to Flaherty told the board.
One resident who said that unlike supporters, she actually is a direct abutter to the market, started by acknowledging that Patel and his workers "are very nice people," but said double parking at that corner is awful and would only get worse as truck drivers parked there to make deliveries.
One supporter countered that double parking is horrible everywhere in South Boston, not just at that corner, so that's hardly a reason to make it harder on senior citizens who want to buy some alcohol without worrying about getting hit by a car on Broadway.
An aide to Essaibi George and Mangalick even clashed over ownership: After Mangalick called Patel the "owner," the aide handed the board a copy of an assessor's record that showed Patel was not, in fact, the owner. Mangalick said that Mangalick, in fact, the owner of the business, but allowed as how he is a tenant in the building. She said the landlord supported Patel, that Patel would never have applied for a beer and wine license without his support.
The board typically decides license applications at a meeting on Thursdays.