Framingham Selectmen said no to the owner of a downtown auto center to sell beer and wine.
In a split 2-2 vote, Framingham Selectmen denied an application from a local convenience store owner to expand his business to include sales of wine and beer. Selectman Laurie Lee was not present at the meeting.
Boris Kanieff was seeking a wine and malt package store license for his business, which is on Hollis Street.
He said the sale of beer and wine would be a convenience for his customers that would be stopping by for an oil change, car wash or gasoline.
Kanieff’s desire was to turn over some of the convenience store space that he now operates to beer and wine sales. The addition of alcohol sales would not mean an expansion to the building or a diminishing of current products that are offered in the convenience store.
“I believe we are saturated with liquor licenses in the area,” said Selectman Dennis Giombetti. “Although I support local businesses and respect what Mr. Kanieff has done in the community, I cannot support this expansion.”
In the general area of Auto Bright there are six or seven outlets that sell beer and wine, according to Selectman Chair Charles Sisitsky.
“He’s done a great job and I’m sympathetic to his needing another revenue stream,” said Sisitsky. “But I don’t understand a need for another license in that area.”
Kanieff said his operation would differ from the other establishments because Auto Bright isn’t a place where people would go specifically to buy beer or wine.
“This would not be a destination,” said Kanieff. “If I wanted a bottle of beer or a bottle of wine, I would not go to Auto Bright.”
Selectman Ginger Esty speaking for approval said in light of all the good Kanieff has done in revitalizing the neighborhood and a long record of being a good businessman and neighbor she would vote for granting the license.
“This citizen has invested more than $1 million in his business and he supports neighborhood projects. He is a good neighbor and will run it responsibly.”
After the vote Tuesday night, Selectmen suggested Kanieff reapply for the license at a future meeting when the board expects to have all members present.