Construction work in Barrington’s first liquor store site was shut down Tuesday afternoon because of a lack of building permits.
Robert Speaker, Barrington’s building official, said he halted work that was being done illegally in the former Bruegger's Bagels shop at 1 Waseca Ave.
“We don’t do business that way in Barrington,” Speaker said, referring to the lack of electrical, plumbing and building permits.
Attorney Giovanni Cicione, who hopes to open Brickyard Wine and Spirits before Christmas, said about 3:30 pm that he was heading over to Town Hall to meet with Speaker about the shutdown. He said he was not on the site when Speaker shut down the work earlier in the afternoon.
“We didn’t need permits to do demolition,” he said. “Some of the workers went too far and starting constructing walls.”
A visibly perturbed Speaker said construction crews were erecting drywall without a permit when he stopped by the 1 Waseca Avenue site in the early afternoon.
Indeed, a partially constructed wall with several arches on the north side of the interior could be seen through windows from the parking lot. Wine racks also were stacked near the entrance.
Cicione said the racks were delivered earlier in the day.
Fire Chief Gerald Bessette also had not signed off on construction work until Tuesday afternoon, said Speaker, waving the sheet bearing his approval.
Speaker also had not seen the actual plans for the building until Tuesday afternoon. He said he opened them after returning from doing inspections in the field as he does most afternoons.
The opening of the store before Christmas now depends on getting all the town permits and getting construction crews back to work as quickly as possible, said Cicione.
Speaker said he has the authority to take up to 15 days to review the plans before issuing permits.
“I won’t do that,” he said, “but it’s not like I don’t have other work to do.”
The late afternoon meeting between Speaker and Cicione was cordial, both men said. Speaker asked for more information on the plans; Cicione said he would get it to him as quickly as possible.
Speaker said he expected to review the plans as rapidly as possible. The scarcity of construction work needing his attention this time of year will help him complete his review more quickly than, say, in the spring when construction picks up every year.
In the meantime, Cicione said, crews will do work in the building that doesn’t need permits.