By Dan Murphy
Despite neighbors raising serious concerns about the current operation, the Beacon Hill Civic Association Zoning and Licensing Committee voted not to oppose the sale of Simmons Liquor and transfer of its liquor license to a new owner.
Tom Patel, proprietor of Dara’s Wine & Spirits in Mission Hill and several other Greater Boston liquor stores, intends to buy the business at 210 Cambridge St. from the Marder family, who have owned and operated it since 2000.
Patel plans to continue employing the store’s current manager, which didn’t come as welcome news to some neighborhood residents.
“We would like the management to change,” said Miguel Rosales of Mt. Vernon Street. “[The business] has made Cambridge Street terrible and dirty…and it’s incompatible with the rest of the area.”
Others described Simmons Liquor as a “bad neighbor,” saying empty “nip” bottles, presumably purchased at the store,
litter the neighborhood, and that intoxicated patrons commonly loiter in the vicinity and sleep in nearby doorways.
Patel was receptive to the suggestion that the store use price tags adorned with its name to help better identify the source of discarded liquor bottles in the area.
Besides agreeing to enter into a “good neighbor” contract with the Civic Association, Patel said he would consider discontinuing sale of smaller liquor bottles containing less than a fifth of a gallon or priced at less than $10 per unit.
“There is an opportunity for dialogue here,” said co-chair Chris Donnelly before the committee reached its vote. “It’s a chance to revisit what we want from local businesses.”
The city’s Licensing Board has yet to schedule a hearing on the matter.