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Talk about bad timing: Online delivery service wants to start delivering alcohol in South Boston

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let Gopuff, a service that offers app-based delivery of convenience-store stuff from a warehouse on Dorchester Avenue in South Boston, buy the South Bay Stop & Shop's liquor license so it can start offering six packs and hardier drinks to its customers in South Boston and nearby parts of Dorchester.

The request comes as city officials - including South Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn - and State Police are trying to crack down on gadabouts using online services to have spirits delivered to them as they work on their tans or enjoy post-sundown socializing at Southie beaches, where, as in the rest of Boston, public consumption of alcohol is forbidden.

Just last week, the licensing board held an emergency meeting with South Boston packie owners to demand they knock it off.

A Gopuff official and its Boston lawyer attended that meeting. Today, at a hearing on its request to buy the South Bay license, they assured the board that their ordering software can be programmed to "geofence" the beaches and block any orders that list the beach or nearby areas for delivery.

Gopuff attorney Andrew Upton said Gopuff would actually be performing a public service by removing a full-service liquor store from South Bay, around which he said have come complaints about the density of liquor stores in that area.

Although, as required by law, the Gopuff warehouse at 371 Dorchester Ave. will have an actual walk-in area where people could buy liquor, it will only be 100 square feet in size, will have the lights set low, will have no sign advertising it outside and any purchases will require a credit card, he said.

He said the service is aimed at Gopuff customers at home who, on ordering a pint of Ben and Jerry's or a back of chips for delivery might want to throw in a six pack or a bottle of wine. The company has been offering delivery of non-boozy substances, with just a $1.95 delivery charge, from Dorchester Avenue since 2019.

Gopuff manager Cameron Kilberg added that, in addition to computerized geofencing, the company requires deliveries to residential addresses or offices - deliveries can't be made to corners or, in the South Boston millieu, beaches.

She added that drivers undergo training in how to limit who gets liquor: They are not supposed to hand over alcohol to the visibly drunk and they are trained how to look at IDs to ensure the people who've ordered liquor are over 21.

They mayor's office supported the proposal. However, Flynn and at-large Councilors Michael Flaherty and Annissa Essaibi George opposed the proposed license sale. An aide to Flynn acknowledged the company has done considerable outreach with Andrew Square residents but said additional work is needed on "quality of life" issues.

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Comments

gopuff ruined boston liquors and has caused massive headaches for the neighborhood, including cars idling double-parked on a major state-owned road. They told neighborhood groups that they were going to keep the 8-11 hours of the liquor store, which was a bold-faced lie because they're open pretty much around the clock.

also if you know your way around any major city, go ahead and look up gopuff's service area....you'll see what I'm insinuating....not surprised they boarded up their windows a year ago like the f-ing clowns they are

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Voting closed 19

Right on West Broadway, Jamesie really does know his wines too! Support the local and eschew the start-up bros with their get-rich quick phone app schemes.

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Voting closed 24

I’ve ordered delivery Beer from Woodys a hundred times since early 2000s. They will deliver to any address . Same with Drizzly. What’s the problem with another service ?
Also I wish having a drink at the park/beach was as socially acceptable here as it is in European cities. Just arrest the disorderly and let the rest of us enjoy life

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Voting closed 42

And try to get the law that bars public drinking changed.

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Voting closed 34

It'd be a nice thought, but thanks to types like those complaining about people drinking on the beach in Southie it'll never happen.

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Voting closed 18

Yeah like I have any fucking time to do that

311-HAI PLz LET ME DRINK ON DA BEACh K BAI

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Voting closed 16

I don't know of any law that bans possession alcohol in closed containers in public parks. If it's convenient for me to get my deliveries at the beach, then I don't see why that's the police's business - you can arrest me if I open the bottle.

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Voting closed 25

There is public drinking in every park, schoolyard and mbta station in Boston. You will find the gutter outside every liquor store decorated with plastic nip bottles thrown aside by scofflaws.. The other hedonistic trend we experience in our fair city is open air opioid, crack and meth use. One groups party is another groups loss of quality of life.

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Voting closed 11

I live in Andrew Square and can't help but to note all the egregious lying from the NIMBYs and GoPuff alike.

The main issue in Andrew Square is that it's an extension of Methadone Mile. There is not a "density" of liquor stores here, and if there were by some ridiculous definition, that's not where you'll find the addicts. Stop & Shop is a good 20 min walk away. GoPuff 10-15 min walk away.

I've yet to have had an issue with drinkers at the beach. Maybe just go to the quieter Carson Beach instead of packing into the already crowded M Street Beach. Perhaps the city can designate a family-oriented section. There already exist a private beach too! Get a membership.

But this all feels like a lot of Boomer whining: "We amassed great wealth due to population density that boosted our real estate values, and now we're upset that it's so expensive here that young people need to live densely to afford it. Can't everyone just leave the city? We were here FIRST." Just take your millions and move out of the city already.

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Voting closed 33

This reminds Magoo of an ole shanty:

Come all ye young fellows that follows the sea
To me, way hey, blow the man down
Now please pay attention and listen to me
Give me some time to blow the man down
I'm a deep water sailor just come from Hong Kong
You give me some whiskey, I'll sing you a song
When a trim Black Ball liner's preparing for sea
On a trim Black Ball liner I wasted me prime
When a trim Black Ball liner preparing for sea
You'll split your sides laughing such sights you would see
There's tinkers and tailors, shoemakers and all
They're all shipped for sailors aboard the Black Ball
When a big Black Ball liner's a-leaving her dock
The boys and the girls on the pier-head do flock
Now, when the big liner, she's clear of land
Our bosun he roars out the word of command
Come quickly, lay aft to the break of the poop
Or I'll help you along with the toe of me boot
Pay attention to orders, now, you one and all
For see high above there flies the Black Ball
'Tis larboard and starboard, on deck you will sprawl
For kicking Jack Rogers commands the Black Ball

Magoo.

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Voting closed 16