A Big NO for Big Y
Despite an articulate and upbeat presentation from the management and legal counsel of Big Y and its subsidiary, Table & Vine, their license request to implement a full liquor license, acquired from Franklin Village Mall Liquors, for the Big Y location on East Central Street, failed spectacularly Wednesday night.
The Town Council, which is the authority in such matters, listened to the upbeat presentation and asked only a few questions. But when Chair Tom Mercer invited public comment, the possible fate of the proposal began to be clear.
Mark Lenzi, coproprietor of Franklin Liquors, almost directly across the street from Big Y, began to catalog his concerns and objections, Councilor Robert Dellorco began to nod his head in agreement. Lenzi was followed by Mike Donovan, owner of DaVita's market, located less than half a mile away from the Big Y. He spoke only briefly but said he concurred with all the comments made by Lenzi.
Also offering a wide-ranging critique of the Big Y proposal was Frank Falvey, a local resident and commentator on Franklin TV.
When citizen comments finished, Mercer set the stage, noting previous actions by the Council, such as a denial of a license to serve alcohol by Dean College, later effectively overturned by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.
Participating by Zoom, Councilor Brian Chandler said he planned on a no vote. Even Councilor Cobi Frongillo, who confessed that he was unimpressed with arguments made by some that there were too many establishments selling already in the area said, if others voted no, he would go along.
When the roll call vote came, it was No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No. A resounding nine no votes and not a single yes.
With that, the Big Y team managed a polite "thank you for your time," and departed.