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App-driven wine store wins approval in the South End

The Boston Licensing Board today granted a package-store license to Wine Riot for its Web 3.0-enabled wine store at 519 Tremont St.

The board accepted arguments from Tyler Balliet and Morgan First that there was a public need for a shop that caters to users who want to help drive their inventory through app-driven reviews and histories of their own drinking habits, coupled with an emphasis on wine education.

The board rejected arguments from older South End residents and Mayor Walsh that that was just the wrong location for yet another wine store and that Tyler Balliet and Morgan First should look to set up shop in some other area, like Newbury Street or Fort Point.

Although the two say they will focus on wine, the new license, if approved by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, will let them sell other types of alcohol. However, they did agree to a license restriction not to sell nips, pints or single bottles of beer.

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I understand the fact that Mayor Walsh is a recovering alcoholic, but I really wish he would stop treating the rest of the city like we all are too.

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He's backed other requests for new liquor licenses. This was more reflective of the fact that a couple hundred people signed petitions against the store and that one of the two formal neighborhood groups in the area voted against it.

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Ah ok, I guess I must have missed those. Just seems like there are stories every other day about him campaigning against liquor licenses, shutting down the possibility of legalizing happy hours, etc.

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I didn't mention the community-group thing in my original post.

At least when it comes to licensing issues (perhaps less so with BRA/zoning issues) the mayor's office tends to be pretty sensitive to what the community says (obviously in this case, the community was split).

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should neither be in support or nor against ANY proposals that come before the Licensing Board. It could easily be construed as putting undue infulence on the Board because of his office.

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So the mayor shouldn't express an opinion to a board which he appoints on a matter that affects the neighborhoods which he governs? Should the mayor also then have no contact with the School Committee as well? Why even bother governing really.

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of the Board that have direct control over the decision to approve or deny a license, then the Mayor should NOT be allowed to offer any recommendations or opinions on the matter at hand.

The Licensing Board is supposed to be neutral in considering decisions. Because of his position, Mayor Walsh stating "I don't support this" implicitly affects that neutrality.

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nips, pints, and single bottles of beer.

Not that this store will ignore this restriction, but I think it is pretty easy to ignore in my experience (mainly picking up nips around the liquor store near me - one that had agreed to not selling nips).

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Or 311 or your local police district. That'll generate an unscheduled inspection from the BPD living unit.

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Ugh, then your readers will be all over the two (out of 1,900) BPD Officers who sole purpose is to investigate these claims.

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Nailed it.

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I had the Area A captain come buy and talk to them about it. No change. Back when it was Captain O'Rourke.

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Based on the number of recent hearings based on such complaints.

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do people use littering as the reason they don't want stores selling them or do they tell the truth usually?

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What's the "truth"? The common belief, I believe, is that nips bring in drunks who can't afford bottles of hard liquor and then stand out front and drink them.

Am I missing something?

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It the owners of the liquor store was better at picking up the litter around the store I might be less concern I suppose. It only gets cleaned up if me or one of my neighbors does it.

On the otherhand, you may recall I am not too cool about people pissing on the steps of my building although the piss generally keeps the drunks from hanging on the steps.

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The suppliers invoices can be monitored.

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If only the Russian Jews had an app!

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It will be interesting to see how the business model plays out, both in terms of customers' use of the app to inform purchasing and inventory stocking decisions, and to communicate with customers and potential customers to drive traffic to the store. In that sense, it would be/will be creating a niche customer base separate from the existing South End residents, who already have a wide variety of options for learning about and purchasing good wine in the neighborhood. I can imagine it will get a lot of buzz when it opens, the real test of the model will be to see where they are are six to twelve months later after the novelty wears off.

And a slight tease - shouldn't we be referring to Wine Riot as an "app-driven Packie" as they now have a package license, and are joining the ranks of the existing South End packie stores selling high end wines and spirits referenced in your prior article?

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So they app a wine. Some flock to it, there is 12 bottles in a case, the store sells 4 bottles, the rest stays in box in cellar.Then they app another oo la la wine, same same results. Another box in cellar. Finally there are all these partial boxes in cellar of wine nobody buys anymore. Store discounts to get rid of, making little or nothing. How long can that go on before the app goes blank and the store rent gets unpaid? Plus , if some wine actually catches on for repeat sales repeatedly ,and becomes a thing, the bigger stores swoop in, then start selling at a discount. They could sell it at cost , because they are making money from nips and single 16 oz. cans of beer.

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I'm 29 years old and I literally had no idea what this store is

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Way to go yuppies!! You yuppied as hard as you could yuppy and now you have your very own yuppy riot. Congrats.

Now.. about that South End firearm violence?

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for trite, feeble, Herald-comments-level concern-trolling!

What a bunch of hyperventilating over nonsense. Balliet has spent most of his adult life doing exactly this: trying to educate people about wine. I suspect he'd rather be caught stocking Yellowtail than carrying nips, but you won't see either there.

Reminds me of the time a bunch of out-of-touch numbnuts showed up at the licensing hearing for Qingping 15 years ago, that Chinese art gallery / tea house on Shawmut Ave in the South End, worrying that letting them sell wine would lead to a gambling den full of old Chinese men swilling maotai and dissipating their wives' pin money. Comically stupid.

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This is a favorite distribution format for some craft breweries, such as Slumbrew.

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Under $5 for a can of anything attracts drunks. Over that the residents should be satisfied in any neighborhood in the state except for maybe Dover.

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Anything under $5 a can? My lily-white beer-and-wine-snob yuppie ass won't pay $20 for a 4-pack of anything that isn't gold-plated. I don't think a place selling $3 cans of upscale beer (which is what I've seen individual bottles sold for after they're broken out of a $15 6-pack) is going to attract a rough crowd.

That said, I am a little curious as to why they want a full liquor license if they want to exclusively market good wine to 20-somethings. I think the margins on >$20 a bottle wine are better than they are on most spirits.

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Is there such a thing as a non-full (e.g. wine-only) package store license?

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I think Trader Joe's sells beer like this, I haven't seen any drunks hanging around outside of their Brookline store.

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Nothing , the single can of beer is necessary to chase down the quick nip of rye, it is essential to the ambiance of the boisson!

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this Wine Riot is already stirring up race riots in Roxbury.. how could they!!!!!

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The drunk Millennials are already on the move!

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