First-Ever Liquor Store License Awarded

Matthew Amaral receives the only Class A license given out at Monday night's Town Council meeting for a store at 24 Bosworth St.

Barrington will be a “dry” town no more.

The Town Council awarded Barrington’s first-ever Class A license for a liquor store Monday night in a unanimous vote. It did not award a second license.

The first license was given to Matthew Amaral for a location at 24 Bosworth St. that he plans to name Grapes & Grains. Amaral is the person who got the liquor store referendum on last November’s election ballot.

“Amen!” said a visibly relieved Amaral. “You can take the if out of the business plan.”

The councilors then voted down separate motions in split decisions to award the second license available.

Town Councilor Bill DeWitt said he likes competition and made a motion to give the license to Giovanni Cicione, who had applied to launch a store at one of two locations: 1 Waseca Ave. and 282 County Road.

The motion was defeated.

Councilor Cynthia Coyne said she believed it would be wrong not to award a second license and made a motion to give it to Robert Healey Jr., who had applied to set up a store at 233 Waseca Ave.

“I like his plan and his experience in the business,” she said.

Her motion was defeated as well.

Town Council Vice President Jeff Brenner said: “I believe there are a lot of legitimate reasons to keep it at one. I always said I would award up to two.”

Town Council President June Speakman said: “I still have hope that other applicants come forward from other parts of town.”

Councilor Kate Weymouth said she was not in favor of giving out a second license at this time. She, too, has said that she expected applicants to come from other parts of Barrington, not just for town center.

The Town Council’s votes followed a relatively short final public hearing on the liquor license applications. Only two residents spoke for or against specific locations.

The applicants said little as well.

Amaral said: “Nothing in his business plan has changed” for the Bosworth Street location owned by Don Perrin.

Cicione said he got a special-use permit for a second location, 1 Waseca Ave., because he decided it was “a better location for a variety of reasons, including it being more convenient.”

His initial location in the former AAA building in the Barrington Shopping Plaza was too close to the Bosworth Street site, though, which violates state law about the proximity of liquor stores.

Healey said he, too, had no new information on his application.


Mocktheworld November 08, 2011 at 11:29 AM
Thank you Bill Dewitt! At least one reasoned decision!! I am at a loss with this decision. What other part of town would you put a liquor store? Kent Street? Bay Spring? Would any other location make good business sense? One license, no two... Maybe three. No, just one, today! Yikes! This is our town leadership? Did we not VOTE to get this done? Talk about dragging your feet! This council can't seem to make a sound decision and stick to it! I am at a loss.
Kristine November 08, 2011 at 08:26 PM
I am personally happy that a liquor store will not be open on Waseca Ave. I've commented before that we have enough traffic fly up and down Anoka Avenue where children live and play - they are using it to cut through to the YMCA, bakery, salon or to go to Dunkin Donuts, etc. No one follows the posted speed limit..so I'm glad we won't see more traffic headed to Waseca for alcohol. I think one store in Barrington is enough.
Mocktheworld November 09, 2011 at 02:10 AM
My issue is not the number, it is the process.
Pam November 09, 2011 at 12:35 PM
I have to agree with Pamela with regards to the flip flopping of the Town Council. They seem to change their minds quite often as to the number of licenses that would be permitted. Frankly, I am shocked that only one license was granted at this meeting. I can only imagine the frustration of Mr. Cicone and Mr. Healey. Some of the comments by Speakman and Weymouth seem to indicate that they would like to give the licenses to someone other than these two candidates, though they say it has to do with the locations of the stores. I wonder. Kudos to Bill DeWitt and Cynthia Coyne for being the voices of reason on the committee and for being consistent in their decisions.


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