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Local News

January 8, 2013

Store seeks town's only license for beer/wine

Wenham: Selectmen to continue public hearing tonight

The owner of the Richdale convenience store on Topsfield Road is seeking the town’s only package store license.

Some residents like the idea of not having to drive out of town to buy beer and wine, while others fear it will change the character of their neighborhood.

Albert Abdelmalak has owned the store at the intersection of Route 97 and Cherry and Maple streets since October 2011.

Selectmen will continue its public hearing from Dec. 18 on the license tonight at 7 at Town Hall, 138 Main St. The hearing was continued for selectmen to check the town’s zoning regulations.

Selectmen Chairwoman Molly Martins could not be reached for comment on the hearing.

Abdelmalak said there have been many requests from customers to sell beer and wine at the store. A three-door refrigerator will be installed for beer and shelves added for the wine, he said.

“It is going to be a very small area to sell the beer and wine,” he said.

While Abdelmalak expects the beer and wine sales to increase customers, he said there will not be a significant increase in traffic, as some residents have suggested.

“I think this will be great for the neighborhood because they don’t have to drive out of town to get beer and wine,” he said.

Under the license, customers will not be able to drink on the premises. The hours of the store will remain the same at 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Mayflower Drive resident wrote a letter to selectmen in favor of granting the license. He said the current management has done a great job cleaning up the store from previous ownership.

“The town should be trying to help out what few businesses we have in Wenham,” he wrote.

Susan and Martin Cooke of Puritan Road expressed many concerns in a letter to selectmen, including the possibility of an increased police presence needed.

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