McKinnon's Market & Super Butcher Shop received approval from the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night for a package store license to sell beer and wine.
A request by McKinnon's for a home rule petition passed Town Meeting last May and then state lawmakers weighed in. The legislature has the ability to grant additional licenses for a community in excess of state limits. State Rep. Ted Speliotis informed selectmen in November that the petition was granted and was awaiting Gov. Deval Patrick's signature.
"I feel their liquor license will be a great addition to their business and allows them to broaden their market," Speliotis said.
The shop is owned by Edward Penta Jr. and Carl Penta, who own stores in Everett and Salem, N.H.
Once Patrick signed Nov. 24, the store needed the town to issue the newly created license for malt and wines sales.
Before McKinnon's can start selling alcohol, however, another round of state approval is on tap.
McKinnon's general manager Russell Meredith told selectmen the store will probably just stock warm beer for now due to limited cooler space, although the store might replace a soda cooler with one for beer in the future. Alcohol will be displayed for purchase in the rear of the store near the bakery section and deli.
Meredith said they were going to designate one register for non-alcohol sales and keep the other three open for alcohol and groceries, manned by employees 18 and older. At those registers, there would be a strict policy on carding everyone and having a manager who is 21 or older checking on each alcohol purchase.
"Anyone purchasing alcohol will have to show ID regardless of age," he said.
He also didn't foresee the store making any layoffs to staff, which includes teenagers as young as 16, as a precautionary means of avoiding sales to underage customers.
"I look forward to seeing you provide this service in a controlled way," said Selectman Bill Clark.
Dan Bennett, sitting in the chairman's seat for the evening, noted that the lack of cold beer might discourage quick runs to the store by "kids," looking for a six-pack.
"Hopefully you'll sell a quality wine?" Bennett asked.
"We'll have a little suggestion box – pick your favorite," Meredith responded, light-heartedly.
Selectmen unanimously agreed to issue the license, which is now subject to approval by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.