Cumberland Farms loses alcohol sales bid in Amherst

The Daily Gazette reports that the Amherst Select Board agreed with opponents to the Cumberland Farms convenience store at 35 Belchertown Road selling beer and wine, and unanimously turned down its request for a license.

Among the reasons cited by the board were a determination that there is no need for additional alcohol sales in that section of town, and poor sight lines for exiting motorists.

Several people spoke in opposition to the request by Cumberland farms for one of the six remaining wine and malt package store licenses which are issued annually by the town.

“I just can’t personally support them having a wine and malt license,” said Select Board Chairwoman Stephanie O’Keeffe, adding that it is not a good fit with a gas station and convenience store that sells on-the-go items. “The idea that there is also beer and wine with that is a troubling message,” she said.

The Gazette reports that Select Board member Alisa Brewer said having a convenience store sell beer and wine in a community that already has alcohol-related challenges – in part because of a large number of college students – is troubling. “It’s different from the other types of businesses we have,” she added.

Select Board member James Wald said he agreed with turning down the application because beer and wine sales would not be essential to the store’s livelihood.

The decision can be appealed to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.