The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a proposal by Lee's Market on Commonwealth Avenue at Washington Street in Brighton to start selling beer, wine and spirits.
Owner Anil Patel still needs to go before the Boston Licensing Board for permission to buy the liquor license from the former Martignetti's on Soldiers Field Road, which has been torn down to make way for a car dealership.
Through his attorney, Patel said he would limit beer and wine to one aisle and would keep harder stuff on shelves behind the counter. He added he would not sell nips or single cans of beer.
The mayor's office supported Patel, saying he has proven a good business owner and that immediate neighbors voiced their support at an abutter's meeting.
The Brighton-Allston Improvement Association, however, opposed the proposal, saying there are already liquor stores in close proximity and that the fact that Patel plans to keep spirits behind the counter "shows there are problems in the area," the BAIA's Anabela Gomes told the board.
She said the association is also concerned that Patel would eventually seek to turn the entire store into a liquor store.
The board added a condition to its approval that Patel not expand his alcohol space beyond the one aisle and behind-the-counter shelving. Should Lee's decide to expand its alcohol space beyond that in the future, it would have to return to the board for a new permit - in addition to seeking a change in its approval from the licensing board.