License Comm. Approves Two Items at Special Meeting; Discusses Problem of ‘Nips’

The Revere License Commission held a special meeting last Wednesday morning, March 23, in the City Council Chamber.

Chairman Robert Selevitch and fellow commission members Daniel Occena and Linda Guinasso were on hand for the meeting.

The commission took up two matters, approving the transfer of the liquor license for the former Bread Basket convenience store at 535 Broadway and approving a one-day license for a performance by a comedian from Columbia at Revere High School scheduled for April 16 that also will feature food trucks.

Although both matters were relatively routine, a discussion about the pervasive problem regarding the littering of nip bottles came up during the hearing on the liquor license for the new establishment at 535 Broadway.

The two items on the agenda, and the commission’s votes and discussions on each, were as follows:

Item #1: Jia Liquors Corp., 535 Broadway, Nirav Patel, Manager:

Application for Transfer of a Wine and Malt Package Store License, Change of License Category to All Alcohol, and Pledge of License: Application of Jia Liquors Corp., Nirav Patel, Manager, to transfer a Wine and Malt Package Store license from Nishtha, LLC, to change the license category to All Alcohol from Wine and Malt, and to pledge the license. Said license is to be exercised at 535 Broadway.

Atty. Larry Simeone presented the application to the commission on behalf of Jia Liquors Inc. Nirav Patel, the new owner of the business, which presently is a convenience store known as the Bread Basket, also was on hand for the hearing.

Patel said he will be converting the business from a convenience store with a beer and wine license solely to a full package store. Patel presently operates a similar business in Lynn.

The matter had come before the commission last month, but the commissioners at that time raised questions about the legal implications in terms of the conversion of the license from a malt and wine license to an all-alcohol license. However, the commissioners seemed satisfied that their concerns now had been met.

“Any outstanding questions that we did have previously have been answered this month,” said Guinasso.

Although the commission had no questions concerning the specific matter before them, Selevitch brought up the issue about the sale of nips, the small bottles of hard liquor that are a huge source of littering not only in Revere, but throughout the state.

Selevitch, noting that the City of Chelsea recently banned the sale of nips, asked Patel whether he voluntarily would be willing not to sell nips.

“I would strongly recommend to keep the nips,” said Patel. “I know the waste aspect of this, but it hurts the business a bit in terms of sales.” In response to a question from Selevitch, Patel estimated that the sale of nips constitutes about 25-30% of his revenue, a figure that surprised the commissioners.

Guinasso then interjected that the commission should address the issue for all establishments.

“Nips are a problem in our city,” she said. “I see them all over the place. I’d like to see us come up with something across-the-board.”

Occena said that even though some establishments have agreed not to sell nips, “We have to look at it for all businesses,” rather than on an individual basis.

“The issue is, we’re trying to get cooperation on this, rather than trying to iron-fist it, but I appreciate that 25-30% of your business comes from nips,” said Selevitch.

The commission then approved the application unanimously.

Item #2: Diana Cardoña, 101 School Street, Diana Cardoña, Event Manager:

Application for a 1-day Entertainment and Mobile Food Vendor License: Application of Diana Cardoña for a 1- day license for Entertainment and Mobile Food Vendor, said license to be exercised at the Revere High School Auditorium on Saturday, April 16, 2022 from 7 p.m.–10 p.m. Expected attendance is 600. Food trucks will be outside in the school parking lot.

Ms. Cardona presented the application to the commission. She told the commissioners that the event will be a family-oriented comedy show by a performer from Columbia. Cardona previously had obtained a special license for a similar event this past month, which attracted 280 attendees.

She said the upcoming event will feature a better-known comedian and that she is expecting a larger crowd. She said she had been advised by the police that if the number of attendees approaches 400, then she should hire a detail officer.

After receiving Cardona’s assurance that she will obtain a police detail if attendance is greater than 400 persons, the commissioners unanimously approved the application.

The commission’s next regularly-scheduled meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 20.

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