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.