Groceries, Liquor & Distribution

We’ve been fortunate to have neighborhood convenience and small, snack-type food stores such as the Little Shop, Orville’s, Dias’, Emporium, $.05 & $.10, and Cumbies but Almacs was the only modern-era grocery store. After Almacs closed we finally got Stop & Shop. Big Y pulled out of the Foxfield Plaza deal after the State insisted they pay for roadwork improvements. Now, Trader Joe’s wants to come to Patriot Place.

Will TJ’s get the go ahead or will they be stymied by the “Spirits” and location controversies? The one remaining 7 Day/All Alcohol License is owned by Central Wine & Spirits. CW&S put the license up for sale years ago and had entered into an agreement with Dinesh Patel, then big-box wine retailer Wine Nation. The store has been dwindling their stock in anticipation of transferring their liquor license. After locating Wine Nation at Patriot Place and the $325,000 license transfer deal fell through, CW&S shelf stock continued to remain limited. Now Trader Joe’s would like to purchase the last all alcohol liquor license in town for more than $200,000 and locate a store at the now empty Circuit City in Patriot Place; Trader Joe’s has signed a lease deal with Patriot Place ownership.

CW&S stated at the April 10th BOS meeting the economy and downtown competition has affected his business. Is all of it due to these two things or was more at play such as the reconstruction of the downtown area, traffic, type of or lack of product, hours of operation, and parking situations?

Another Route 1 business owner is complaining about the possibility of siting an all alcohol licensed establishment at Patriot Place. He complained when Haddigan’s successor wanted a license for a small section in the convenience store/gas station. Did Route 1 Liquors, the representative of the Route One Business Asssociation or any other business complain when Wine Nation was trying to locate in Patriot Place?

Selectmen are getting “jiggity” by things like “nips”, “spirits”, Trader Joe’s plans for a new business model, DUI’S, and alcohol violations from other businesses at Patriot Place instead of focusing on what the issue is: a license transfer and loss of a true package store for the whole public. They’re also not taking into account personal responsibility of both facility owners and management and consumers. If the rules are followed and all IDs are checked all the time, staff trained, it is not the fault of ownership or management if someone with a good enough fake ID gets impaired, drinks more than they should on or off site- or in the parking lot-, or someone drives while under the influence: even sixteen year olds understand personal responsibility and what you should and should not be doing! Selectmen can’t regulate others’ stupid and unlawful choices in life. If ownership, management or staff do not follow the law, the Police Department and BOS can then step in and regulate (i.e. punish) the business.

Do Selectmen have the legal authority to put conditions on a license transfer- call it by agreement or not? Can they require the license to stay downtown? For economic dvelopment, public service/convenience or other reason? Is there a per capita/per area condition of the spacing of licenses? Can we be top heavy (Route 1/North Foxborough) on the alcohol establishments and leave very few in downtown and Foxborough’s other commercial areas?

If Trader Joe’s new business model is to include spirits- of whatever price point- can selectmen interfere with their business? If they ask to not have spirits sold on game days or events over a certain number of attendees, shouldn’t they stipulate that for all retail establishments with the same kind of license? To do otherwise would be an unjust requirement and would have an unfair economic impact on said business as well as opening the board and town up to more lawsuits.

There wasn’t an outcry like there is over Trader Joe’s when BigY pulled out of Foxfield Plaza deal, why not? What did the town do to try to help site BigY here? Is this hypocrisy and snobbery of residents rearing it’s ugly head?

Trader Joe’s- yeah or nay. What say you Selectmen?

    Liquor license moving out of downtown?
    Liquor chain eyes Patriot Place space
    Trader Joe’s wants to sell beer, wine in Foxboro
    Spirited interest over Trader Joe’s liquor license


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