Selectman want information on delayed liquor store; License renewed for store that's not there.
WEST BOYLSTON - The "beer cave" still has a license in West Boylston, but at least one selectmen opposes the idea and has asked about the process of rescinding a liquor license.
During the annual license renewal session last week, Selectman John O'Brien questioned renewing an all-alcohol package license for Faucher and Masson Inc., for a business to be known as Wachusett Wine and Spirits.
The family-owned company also owns and operates the longstanding Main South Discount Liquors, a Worcester package store that opened in the 1930s. It received its West Boylston license last January, over several other applicants, after the license formerly held by Reservoir Package Store, at 27 Sterling St., was given up
At the time, O'Brien initially favored giving the license to an applicant who wanted to use existing space in town. However, other selectmen and the town's Economic Development Task Force, favored Faucher and Masson's proposal because it called for a new building at a lot adjacent to Route 12 at 184 West Boylston St., the Wachusett Plaza. A new building, they argued, meant more tax revenue.
Applicant Charles Faucher last January pitched the "beer cave," a cooler that keeps beer at 28 degrees fahrenheit, which he said is the coldest light beer can be before freezing. He promised Wachusett Wine and Spirits would be the first in the area to have such a cooler.
Another draw to the store would be a spot to taste wines and craft beers, and events meant to help customers pair beers and wine with food. For example, wines with certain cheeses or a chocolate malt with vanilla ice cream.
However, 11 months later, O'Brien pointed out that other businesses could have been up and running by now.
In September, Faucher came before the board to request a change of location for the license, saying the project had to start anew.
Faucher told selectmen in September he had problems getting financing to build on leased space at the entrance to Wachusett Plaza on Route 12. His attorney, Paul Suschyk, said a building plan had been developed, but financing problems resulted when banks did not like the rate Faucher would be paying for a lease at the site.
The business is now expected to build a 6,000 square-foot structure at 41 Franklin St., on the corner, across from The Manor, where an existing house would be removed. Access would ideally be from Route 12.
In responding to O'Brien's questions, Executive Assistant Nancy Lucier asked that the board give Faucher the courtesy of addressing the board about the issue. She said he had earlier offered to come in to address the board, and that members were made aware of that offer, but did not ask him to come in.
Not granting the license would leave the license open, and require the board to start the process over.
Selectmen John Hadley and Christopher Rucho, both members of the Economic Develop Task Force who supported Faucher's application last January, said they were confident Faucher intended to open in town. Hadley pointed out the company had already spent a large amount of money on designs and engineering.
"At least give them a few months," Hadley said.
"I do believe you will start to see stuff go before the Planning Board soon," Rucho said.
Ultimately, the board granted the license, with the understanding that the license could be rescinded if need be, and with a request that Faucher update the board on his plans.