WESTIELD- The License Commission Monday denied Delaney’s Market a wine and malt section 15 package store license for its proposed location on East Main Street.
Owner Peter Rosskothen and General Manager Roberta Hurwitz appeared before the License Commission Aug. 12.
The proposed location is 587 East Main St. Unit 160 in the Little River Shops Plaza.
Due to the denial of the license, however, the store’s opening may now be in jeopardy.
“We will not open that store without a liquor license,” said Rosskothen as he left the City Council Chambers following the public hearing.
The commission’s chief concern with their liquor license was that the area in which they would like to open is already ‘saturated’ with other stores with the same license. During public participation, several representatives from Super Phipps Package Store spoke in opposition of granting the license.
They said that they already face steep competition with the other stores in the area, and another one would only add to that. No one in the audience chose to speak in favor of granting the license.
The commission’s other concern was that the city only has the ability to give out two more such licenses. Adding one to a saturated location would take away from somebody else who would like to open up shop elsewhere, in a more ideal location with less competition, said commissioners.
Delaney’s Market would not just be a liquor store, however. Their specialty is selling prepared meals for people to take home to cut down the amount of cooking they have to do themselves. In the public hearing, Rosskothen said that they offer 50 to 60 choices of meals and alcohol sales would be secondary.
Unlike the Delaney House and the Log Cabin, the Delaney’s Market is take-out only. There would be no seating in the store.
“The best way to describe it is a high quality, fresh, ready-made meal for a good value,” said Rosskothen in a December interview. “It’s a retail store with the variety and quality of a restaurant.”
The first Delaney Market opened in Longmeadow in 2016. A second location opened in Springfield in June, which Rosskothen said has had kind of a slow start. The Delaney’s Market website notes four locations, including Wilbraham and Westfield.
Before the vote was made to deny the permit, Mowatt gave his reason for the decision.
“What Delaney’s Market proposed has merit. I think it’s a great idea and it serves their business well. But we are currently in a time and situation where we are over-served in that area and it doesn’t serve the public need in Westfield,” said Mowatt.
Peter Currier can be reached at [email protected].