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Roslindale beer-and-wine store gets OK to add hard liquor

Lorenzo Mercado

The Boston Licensing Board voted unanimously today to allow Lorenzo Mercado to sell a full range of alcohol products at his Punta Cana store on Belgrade Avenue at Walworth Street in Roslindale - and to change its name from Punta Cana Beer & Wine Market to Punta Cana Market.

At a hearing yesterday, Mercado's attorney, Jennifer Allen, said his customers had been asking for harder offerings so they could "satisfy fully their shopping and alcohol needs at the same time and at the same place." Currently, the nearest store that offers liquor is in Roslindale Square, several blocks away.

She added: "The area is a calm one and there's nothing that suddenly changes this area to dangerous with the addition of liquor to this store," she said.

Mercado agreed to a board request for a license provision prohibiting him from selling nips and single bottles of beer.

Two nearby residents spoke in favor of the proposal; nobody spoke against; one said she is allergic to alcohol herself, but would appreciate a store where she could easily walk to pick up some rum for baking rum cakes or bourbon to give as gifts to her boss and friends.

A neighborhood liaison from the city Office of Neighborhood Services said that at a lightly attended neighborhood meeting in November, some people expressed concern about teens getting liquor and drinking it at nearby Fallon Field or that the store would suddenly become a robbery magnet.

Allen said Mercado has a license scanner to prevent the pre-21 set from buying liquor and said the area is not prone to robberies.

Mercado, who formerly owned a liquor store in Dorchester, bought Silvia's Brazilian Market last year.



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