Jack’s Market, located in downtown Easton, will not be selling alcohol anytime soon.
Easton City Council held a public hearing during Wednesday night’s meeting on liquor license transfers within the city.
The owners of Jack’s Market wanted to expand their business by selling cases of beer within the store. The hope was for Jack’s to become a distributor, sticking to strictly retail.
Council unanimously denied the request for the liquor license, due to many code violations and complaints in the past. Complaints include inadequate handling of municipal waste, establishment of illegal apartments, no heat, sale of single cigarettes, expired food, and holes in the sidewalk, issues with cleanliness and loitering outside the store.
“There’s a public safety concern for these individuals,” said council member Jeffrey Warren, “I don’t necessarily believe based on this evidence that we have been given is that Jack’s is a good store for the city.”
There have been many complaints about double parking, pulling into spots, and parking the entrance to the nearby parking lot when customers go to Jack’s for cigarettes.
“This is a rather interesting request for a distributorship that doesn’t have off-street parking,” said Mayor Salvatore Panto. “I have a concern offering a business owner more opportunities to violate our city codes.”
“I don’t want people wondering around our central business district carrying cases of beer,” said council member Elinor Warner, which gathered applause from the audience.
The majority of the audience of the council meeting was present in protest of Jack’s receiving a liquor license.
“There have been eleven calls to the police since January 1, 2011 [about this property],” said Becky Bradley, Director of Planning and Codes for the City of Easton.
“It is the recommendation of the staff of the Department of Planning and Codes, because we believe there are a pattern of health, building code, and zoning violations” to deny the liquor license request.
“After extensive review and discussion, the Board of Directors of the Easton Business Association hereby voices it’s objection for the transfer of the liquor license… on the basis of serious concerns we have regarding the significant risks such license would present to the welfare, health, peace and morals of our city,” stated the President of the Easton Business Association.
Many citizens also voiced their concerns for a beer distributor to be located in the downtown area. Some stated they felt Jack’s Market should be a grocery store, to meet the needs of the community.
Council agreed with the residents that Jack’s should not be operating as a beer distributor within downtown Easton, and officially voted against the request for a liquor license transfer for 222 Northampton Street.