Attorney David Rubin wins liquor license case for a South Grafton, Massachusetts business owner.
Grafton selectmen OK Village Dairy’s alcohol license, with conditions
By Richard Price | Worcester Telegram
GRAFTON — The Village Dairy, a South Grafton convenience store that was cited five times for liquor sale violations over the years, will get its license back — but with conditions agreed to by the owner.
Selectmen voted Tuesday night to allow the renewal of the store’s beer and wine sales license under an agreement that stipulates the owner will install and maintain a scanner to verify the ID of every customer who asks to buy alcohol; that cameras will be installed to review the transactions; and that police will be allowed to conduct quarterly inspections. The owner also agreed to stop sales and notify the chief of police if the equipment is not functioning.
The vote was 4-1, with Selectman Craig Dauphinais opposed. He said the store and its owner had too much history.
The business owner, Amjad Chaudry, agreed to the terms with his lawyer, David Rubin, who was present.
The store will be run in the daytime by a new manager, Mariam Anwar, who the board also met on Tuesday.
Mr. Chaudry told selectmen that he plans to get the business to operate profitably so he can sell it in about 12 months. If he does, then selectmen will have the opportunity to vet the new owner in an open meeting before issuing a license.
But it was up to Mr. Rubin to reassure the board about their worries over the current owner.
“I have a hard time moving forward without someone acknowledging that what happened in the past was valid,” said Selectman Ed Prisby to Mr. Rubin.
“The answer is yes,” Mr. Rubin said.
The troubles between town officials and Mr. Chaudry began in August 2013 when the selectmen unanimously voted to revoke the store’s license to sell beer and wine after the shop was caught selling alcohol to underage customers during a compliance check.
The store has been cited five times since 2005 for selling to minors during other police checks, according to Police Chief Normand Crepeau Jr. Over the years, the town has issued written warnings, short-term liquor license suspensions and required staff training to prevent selling to underage customers.
The legal battle began in 2014, when Chaudry fought to get his beer and wine license back. The struggle over the years was long and messy and included numerous appeals to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, and a brief reinstatement, as well as lawsuits filed with Worcester Superior Court.