The McIntyres -- who boast more than 20 years of liquor-industry experience without a single violation and own stores in Brookline and Dorchester -- are pushing to open a new store in South Boston.
They've picked a West Broadway location, once home to a Payless ShoeSource, that's been vacant for two years. If they convince the city to give them a liquor license during a Wednesday hearing, they'd install a 22-door cooler for craft beer and an additional seven doors devoted to chilled wine in the 6,000 square-foot location.
But, residents attending the City Side Neighborhood Association meeting on Monday night seemed to unanimously disapprove of the proposal to bring another liquor store to South Boston, which one resident called "an alcoholic's Disneyland."
Southie has 10 liquor stores, three of which are within a three-block radius of the McIntyres' proposed store. Residents said the neighborhood has serious addiction problems, and the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Broadway already is a problem area for drugs.
John McIntyre, the would-be owner of the South Boston store, said his businesses are clean and don't go overboard on signs.
"We've heard again and again from customers from South Boston who have come into our Dorchester store, 'Geez, we need a store like this in South Boston,'" McIntyre said. "They said, 'They have smaller stores. You go to one store and they have a good selection of beer but no wine, another store has a good selection of wine but no beer. My husband likes beer, I like wine, I have to make two stops.'"
Bob Allen, McIntyre's attorney, pointed out the Clam Point community originally bucked at the idea of bringing a liquor store to Morrissey Boulevard, expressing concern over cheap nips and lottery-ticket sales, but since they opened, Allen said that "the neighbors have since embraced the store."
Brian Mahoney, president of the Lower End Political Action Committee, said he found the McIntyres' timing "disingenuous," since they told the neighborhood of their plans just before Christmas, and they scheduled the meeting two days prior to their Licensing Board meeting.
"I appreciate you saying you met a couple of times with other neighborhoods, but you won't get to meet a couple of times with us, because you go before the board on Wednesday," Mahoney said. "The only reason you want to put this in is because it's good for you. It isn't good for South Boston by any stretch of the imagination."
A petition against the liquor store was passed around the meeting, and state Representative Nick Collins made an appearance to announce his office had "already drafted a letter opposing it," which he would present to the licensing board on Wednesday morning.
E-mail Cara Bayles at firstname.lastname@example.org.