(Image courtesy Google Maps)
An "upscale" liquor store could be the newest business to open its doors on Dorchester Avenue in Savin Hill.
Mateo Van and his attorney Jon Aieta were before the Boston Licensing Board Wednesday seeking a retail liquor license for the proposed store at 1047-1051 Dorchester Ave., the former site of Phu Cuong Market. Van would be the manager and owner of Savin Hill Wine and Spirits, but he does not own the property.
The proposal also went before the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals August 6 and was approved, according to Aieta.
“He wants to create a space for an upscale package store with specialty wines and beers,” Aieta explained to the board Wednesday morning. “We feel there are a lot of young professionals in the neighborhood and this would work well as opposed to another super market or convenience store.”
Aieta added after the hearing that the business would shy away from products such as single-serve alcohol bottles also known as “nips”, cigarettes, and lottery products. The proposed closing hour is 11 p.m.
At Wednesday’s hearing the proposal received the support of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, the office of District City Councilor Frank Baker, and the office of at-Large City Councilor Stephen Murphy.
The representative from Councilor Baker’s office, however, added that the business had the councilor’s support as long as it seeks to provide high-end products and does not become “a more traditional package store.”
A number of area residents turned out Wednesday to oppose the license request, with many saying the neighborhood already has too many liquor stores.
From Columbia Road to Savin Hill Avenue there are three liquor stores located near the approximately half-mile stretch of Dorchester Avenue. Both Eagle Liquors and Best Liquors are located on Dorchester Avenue and Avenue Liquors is located on Savin Hill Avenue just off of Dorchester Avenue. The closest liquor store to proposed location is Best Liquors at 1088 Dorchester Ave.
“I’ve been here over 40-years and I don’t think we need another liquor store,” Jeff Duffy, 66, told the board.
“My concern is the impact to the young people,” said Joshua Stroman, a 28-year-old area resident. “We’re bringing Savin Hill back, but that’s not because of more liquor stores in the area.”
The owners of Best Liquors and Avenue Liquors also turned out to oppose the license.
“It’s going to threaten my livelihood,” explained Mirosleidy Tejada, the owner of Avenue Liquors.
If the proposal is approved by the board and all the proper permits have been secured, Aieta said the business could be opened at the earliest by Thanksgiving.
Van is married to Karen Diep, who along with her family own Van Shabu and Bar located just down the street on Dorchester Avenue. Van, however, does not have a financial or managerial stake in Van Shabu, according to Diep. He is also not listed on Van Shabu and Bar's Business Entity Summary provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' office.
The licensing board will vote Thursday to support, deny, or defer decision on the request.