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Total Wine gets license to open in Braintree





Total Wine & More, the national chain of “superstores” selling beer, wine, and liquor, is planning to move to Braintree.

The Delaware-based company was awarded a liquor license on Oct. 16 to operate on Pearl Street in Braintree. The town’s Licensing Board voted 4 to 1 to approve transferring the license from another closing business, Pearl Wine and Spirits, according to board chair James Casey.

James O’Brien, the town’s fire chief and a member of the Licensing Board, voted against the transfer, Casey said.

Casey said opponents of the plan argued that there were enough liquor licenses in town and Total Wine would hurt the smaller stores already in business. Supporters cited the attraction of a large store with good prices and inventory.

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Total Wine plans to open a 26,000-square-foot store at 180 Pearl St., near the exit for Route 3 — the biggest liquor store in town by far. Casey said the next largest one is Bin Ends on Wood Road, which has about 4,000 square feet.

Total Wine advertises that its stores carry more than 8,000 different wines, more than 2,500 types of beer, and more than 3,000 different spirits. According to its website, the company, which was founded in 1991,
has 189 superstores in 23 states and is in the midst of an aggressive expansion.

In Massachusetts, Total Wine has stores in Burlington, Danvers, Everett, Natick, and Shrewsbury.

Braintree is allowed a quota of eight all-alcohol licenses and has issued seven, Casey said. He said the town is allowed eight wine and malt licenses and has awarded three.

“We are not adding any liquor stores; this was a license transfer,” he said.

Total Wine spokesman Edward Cooper said customers at the other Massachusetts stores who live and work on the South Shore had asked for a store closer to home or work. “If all goes well, we hope for the store to open sometime in the early second quarter of next year,” he said.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.


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