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Upscale Wine and Beer Retailer Proposes Centre Street Store

Streetcar Liquors pitches posh package store plan at Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council meeting.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, former distributor Michael Dupuy pitched a proposal to open an upscale wine and beer store at 488 Centre Street, across the street from the Curley School. The building, which is currently undergoing renovations, previously housed a chiropractor’s office. 

Dupuy broke the ice with the council by noting that Streetcar Liquors was named in honor of the trolleys that once travelled up and down JP’s main street. 

“That’s something that you are familiar with,” he joked, referring to the long-simmering controversy following the cessation of train service in the 1980s.

Dupuy told the council that he does not intend to sell hard liquor, and only plans to sell beer and wine made by small-scale producers.

“There will be no Budweiser or Corona,” he said.

“JP is the perfect spot for this kind of store,” he stated. “No other place will support” the micro-brewers and modest vineyards whose products he plans to sell. Here, “people pay special attention to what they put on the table.”

Dupuy’s proposal drew immediate attention from council members for its location across the street from the school. 

In response to questioning, Dupuy answered that he is certified under the State’s Training and Intervention Procedures (TIPS), a program designed to educate consumers and business owners about safe alcohol use. He also plans to carry out additional measures to deter young customers from the premises by not selling lottery tickets, tobacco, candy or snack foods.

“Maybe there will be a small cheese counter in time,” he noted.

As he is the “only person running the store,” Depuy also told the Council that he will likely close at 9 or 10 p.m., and would probably only be open for business five days per week, “possibly closing on Sunday and Monday.”

The entrepreneur, who lives in Dorchester, said that he started his career at Marty’s Fine Wines in Newton, and that he later gained added experience by working for distributors.

“I’ve run shops like this without being an owner,” he added.

The meeting with the JPNC was only the first of others planned.  Dupuy stated that he will meet with the JP Pond Association on Sept. 12.

Edward J. (Red) Burrows of the JPNC advised Dupuy to “meet with the neighbors if you want this to go ahead without a hitch.”

Bill Popadopoulos, who owns the building at 488 Centre St., spoke to Patch prior to Tuesday night’s meeting. Taking a brief break from renovations at the one-story building, he said, “I think it’s a good idea.”

“He has a very sophisticated knowledge of wine,” said Randace Moore of Dupuy. As the executive director of JP Centre/South Main Streets, the mission of Moore’s agency is to support commercial activities in the community. “It would be great for the neighborhood” she concluded.

Raphael September 01, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Sounds fantastic Mr. Dupuy! Please come to the neighborhood!
JP Pragmatist September 01, 2011 at 06:00 PM
gr8 idea! We have liquor stores near all kinds of places where kids are - I see no issue, that's why we have liquor laws. No ID, no sale. very simple. beer wine is hardly the same thing as a high volume liquor store that enables alcoholics to loiter and negatively influence small children. It will be great for that forgottne block of centre st. Maybe they fix up the building that looks like it is going to fall over. Is it structurally sound????
Raphael September 01, 2011 at 09:14 PM
JPM, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or supportive. But, and I'm speaking as a parent of two small children, Curley is a K-8 school, so if this store can't figure out who's underage in that crowd, they've got serious issues. And somehow I doubt tweens and teens are patronizing high-end beer and wine purveyors when they're throwing the mom-and-dad-are-out parties...
JP Pragmatist September 01, 2011 at 09:27 PM
I am totally serious. Really. I think it's a great idea.
Bill September 02, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Eh. Certainly not a necessity, but it'll bring a little life to a slow spot on Centre Street. Does a $12/ bottle of lager have a different effect than a can of Steel Reserve? Does a $70/bottle of Chateau De Carga have a more effervescent buzz than Boones farm Apple Wine? =) Enjoy.

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