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The upper crust who shop at Neiman Marcus will soon get to sip some wine or quaff a beer as they browse the wares or get fitted

The Boston Licensing Board today approved plans by Neiman Marcus in Copley Place to start offering beer and wine to its customers, using a license it will buy from a noodle place in Brighton Center.

The store will add a four-seat lounge on the first floor and a six-seat lounge on the second floor, where, in addition to selling beer and wine, it will offer complimentary snacks, store manager Michelle Cousoulis told the board this morning. She said that the new amenities will not only quench the thirst and light hunger of patrons, but will hopefully bring more customers into the store for the sort of experience they just can't get doing shopping online.

Store attorney Tyler Henseler sought to reassure board members, before they even could ask, that the two lounges will not become havens for "college-age kids or other rowdy customers causing any kind of disturbance."

For starters, Neiman Marcus by its very nature attracts an older, more genteel clientele, he said. And the lounges will be in the interior of the stores, not near its exits, so people just cruising the mall won't even know they're there.

Plus, every single Neiman Marcus employee - not just the dedicated loss-prevention officers - are rigorously trained to prevent people from trying to sneak away with the store's smaller, yet still pricey, items, so all those employees, coupled with 62 security cameras covering "every angle of the store," will ensure would-be ne'er-do-wells won't be able to sneak a bottle of beer or a glass of wine out the doors, he said. He added that, on average, there are 94 employees on duty to serve roughly 50 customers - a far higher employee-to-patron ratio than any bar in the city.

Henseler added that this will not be the Back Bay store's first foray into alcohol service: As other department stores once did, Neiman Marcus also ran its own restaurant, between 1982 and 1989. Cousoulis said that Neiman Marcus stores elsewhere in the country already sell beer and wine to their shoppers.

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Comments

I'd rather make my own clothing.

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It's so stupid that they need to buy an expensive license to serve a handful of people AND that it's one less place in a neighborhood that can try to make a go of it.

Alcohol license reform NOW!

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It will be interesting to see if Rent Control gets the legislature's approval before additional liquor licenses do.

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No need for cocktails

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The license is far more beneficial to Brighton than to Copley Place.

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Is it not a bit out of touch that the City Council needs assurance that a Neiman Marcus cafe won’t turn into rowdy, college-age “shot & a beer” bedlam? Look at their prices and clientele, to begin with…

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to come in with a few bros and get hammered there.

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