Monday, June 18, 2012

Just say No

Hess Express South Amherst
UPDATE 2:30 PM The hearing tonight is off and has been postponed until July 16

The Amherst Select Board acting as Liquor Commissioners should deny the permit request of Hess Express for take out beer and wine sales at their exceedingly busy convenience store in the heart of the tiny commercial village center in South Amherst.

And for the same reasons they denied the request of Cumberland Farms a couple months back. Amherst does not need more convenient access to alcohol. R&P Liquors, a Pop and Son, has been a responsible provider of all things alcohol in that area since 1968; and the Select Board not too long ago gave Atkins Country Market, only a mile down the road, one of these permits.

 R&P Liquors South Amherst

The Hess Station already has self serve gas, lottery, a Subway and Dunkin' Donuts franchise so their clerks are busy enough as it is at most hours of the day. Allowing cold beer and wine to go out the door with milk, bread and a newspaper sends a troubling message.

As former APD chief Charlie Scherpa said about the Cumberland Farms application two months ago, "It will just increase the problem we already have with the distribution of alcohol."
 Stores within busy stores: Hess already has Dunkin' Donuts and Subway so they don't need alcohol to survive


Adam Sweet said...

Maybe so, but from a business owner's perspective it makes sense.

LarryK said...

Especially when your rent is $7K/month. Ouch!

Anonymous said...

Until fairly recently, there was another full liquor store diagonally across that intersection, between Sibie's and (what is now) Mission Cantina. What's the difference?

LarryK said...

That full liquor license simply moved uptown. Hess is a heck of a lot closer to a Church and an elementary school for one thing.

The South Amherst Liquor Mart was also owner operated, so he was very hands on.

Krysty said...

. . . and when the full liquor store moved uptown, to Cousins' Market, it markedly increased the littering, loitering, and other unsavory behaviors in the vicinity of the Carriage Shops, West Cemetary, and the Pub. Of course, now that the Olde Towne Taverne has opened, we can only imagine what wonders await when the students return in the fall. In the meantime, the next time you visit Emily in historic West Cemetary, watch out for empty nip bottles, broken beer, and argumentative drunks.

Tom Porter said...

My gut tells me to agree with you on the non-proliferation of easy liquor access in Amherst, and I worry about the safety of this particular filling station's cramped parking lot on a hectic Friday night when UMass is in session.

But I disagree with the argument that the Hess operator's livelihood should be capped at "survival." Plus it's dangerous to assume the store-within-stores are paying for themselves (those terms can be razor thin, btw, as they are a draw not always a revenue generator).

PS, for added measure, and craziness, the Hess store has an onsite ATM - another store-within-store and a traffic generator. Oy!

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Wasn't the package store located next to Hess where the bar is now?

LarryK said...

Maybe 20 years ago before Lenny built his building down the road.

Anonymous said...

I am against this liquor license --we also have the Moan and Dove selling beer and wine. I think not only would the nuisance factor increase at the Hess Mart, but it would make it even more attractive for robbery.

I'll bet those gas pumps pay a lot of revenue.

By the way, when are you going to write (and photograph) the drunks in Town (especially at Subway) who love to verbally accost females? Just because I'm old and fat, it doesn't mean I think it's great when a drunk asks me for a "date."

Anonymous said...

I would hate to see you folk in New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and other normal states where absolutely EVERY convenience store sells beer, as do the grocery stores and at least one McDonalds restaurant that I know of.

Do they have more problems?