Capitol Centre Foods plans to carry wine under new ownership - which begins next month - after being approved for an upgraded alcohol license Wednesday night by the Alcohol License Review Committee.
The upgrade to the class A liquor and class A beer license raised many concerns and sparked some debate over whether the new owner of Capitol Centre Foods should be able to sell wine. At the meeting, eight panelists registered opposition and refused to speak, while four others did elect to speak.
The four who opposed the approval of the license spoke about increased access for underage drinking, adding another vendor to an already saturated area and safety concerns during the Mifflin Street Block Party.
However, City Council President Mike Verveer assured the committee that all those registered in opposition were in fact associated with liquor stores in the area that might lose business.
Under state law, a grocery store needs a full liquor license to sell wine,"" Verveer said.
This law is what raised such concerns from local businesses, according to Verveer. There were fears from liquor stores in the area, who argued the application for a full license meant that the store would now have a full alcohol department. Verveer said that is not going to be the case with Capitol Centre Foods.
""I obviously failed to allay the fears of competition in the area,"" Verveer said referring to those who came to the ALCR meeting in opposition of the license's approval. He said he found out about the intentions of the new owner in a meeting a few weeks ago.
Capitol Centre Foods' new owner Mitchell Eveland will take over Nov. 4. He was ok with adding the condition to the license that he sells only wine and not other types of liquor. Eveland also estimated that alcohol would only be 5 to 7 percent of total sales and would not exceed 10 percent.
Grocery stores were not the only establishments changing their alcohol licenses at Wednesday night's meeting.
In addition, the ALRC also approved a 21 and over nightclub license for the Ram's Head, formerly known as Bull Feathers.
Ram's Head owner Richard Lyshek assured the ALRC that the increased security measures he has invested in will alleviate problems associated under old ownership.