Monday, October 24, 2022

Voices of Franklin: Mark and Mike Lenzi on the proposed Transfer of an all alcoholic license to Table & Vine (Big Y)

333 East Central St,
Franklin, MA 02038

October 23, 2022

Town of Franklin
Municipal Building
355 E Central St, 
Franklin, MA 02038

RE: Transfer for all alcoholic license to Table & Vine (Big Y) at 348 East Central St hearing


This is regarding the liquor license upgrade/transfer request and hearing on November 2nd 2022.


Franklin Liquors, located at 333 East Central St, has been family owned since 1978.  Mark and Mike Lenzi are the owners, full time employees, and lifelong Franklin residents. 


In the past we fought Table & Vine (Big Y) in getting a beer and wine license.  At that time, we were told a business can’t use competition, distance, or public need for a town to deny a license, and it was approved.

Table & Vine (Big Y) Request:

Please consider the points we make in this letter to you.  Table & Vine (Big Y) will tell you they want an upgrade to a full liquor license, as their customers are asking for it.  In our opinion, this request is because they can’t compete without it.  You may recall, recently the council received a request from Dacey’s Market to also upgrade to a full liquor license. The market is changing; if Franklin Liquors cannot object to a license on grounds of competition, how can Table & Vine (Big Y) be approved for saying they can’t compete without it? 

Exposure and control of alcohol:

This transfer request from Village Mall Liquors to Table & Vine (Big Y) would take control from an alcohol-only store to a supermarket.  You may ask, why does this matter?  For that you must think of the safety of the community. People that don’t drink, those affected by alcoholism, and those who don’t want to expose their children to alcohol don’t need to, and won’t go into a liquor store such as Franklin Liquors.  Those same people must go into a supermarket to purchase essential daily supplies. This will increase exposure. Please also think about workers in these stores- many underage employees will now be exposed significantly more. 

Articles on Exposure:

Consumer alcohol exposure in supermarkets: legislatively adherent, but a societal problem

“Alcohol misuse is a well-known public health problem. Supermarkets provide relatively easy access to alcohol for consumers; this is linked to an increase in alcohol misuse”

Children's exposure to alcohol marketing within supermarkets: An objective analysis using GPS technology and wearable cameras

“One mechanism by which on-site alcohol marketing influences child non-drinkers to consume alcohol is by its conflation with everyday consumer goods sold at supermarkets,”

Effects of Alcohol Advertising Exposure on Drinking Among Youth

“Youth who saw more alcohol advertisements on average drank more”

Young people and under-age exposure

“Further, alcohol was found to be located near staple foods such as bread and milk, reinforcing the perception of alcohol as just another ordinary food stuff.”

Call to ban alcohol in supermarkets after cameras reveal over-exposure to children

“The over-exposure of alcohol to children put it on par with everyday products such as bread and milk, causing children to drink alcohol earlier in their life”

Note: This study also noticed by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

The relationship between exposure to alcohol advertising in stores, owning alcohol promotional items, and adolescent alcohol use

“This study provides clear evidence of an association of adolescent drinking with weekly exposure to alcohol advertising in stores and with ownership of alcohol promotional items. Given their potential influence on adolescent drinking behavior, retail ads, and promotional items for alcohol deserve further study.”

Alcohol exposure in NZ supermarkets 'like advertising candy' to children, researcher says
“Children grow up seeing it offered every Friday, every Saturday, samples being given to adults," 

Note On Exposure: 

Many town residents and councilors have made comments about alcohol miniatures (nips) on our streets.  That is an example of overexposure to our community through the form of trash and waste. People are already being inundated with the sight of alcohol in their daily lives. Take a walk into Shaw's, BJ’s, or Table & Vine (Big Y)- seeing alcohol line the shelf in a big box is even greater exposure to the community, and our youth, who have no choice to avoid these stores, either for work or purchasing supplies.

The town CAN say no:
Table & Vine (Big Y) currently sells beer and wine, so this will not prevent the sale of alcohol at the store.  You will prevent them from increasing exposure by not allowing a full alcohol license.  As a corporation they also have the option to pursue this request in many of their other stores in Massachusetts: this isn’t their only store to expand in.  Here are some resources for you to see other towns who have denied supermarkets, even one that regrets giving a beer and wine license to Table & Vine (Big Y).

Stop And Shop Denied
A transfer request denied in Harwich

And follow up after denial
Stop & Shop withdraws alcohol license request
“He added that the town and its residents clearly didn't want the supermarket to be able to sell liquor, and that the store, which already sells liquor in three of its other stores across the state, should look elsewhere.”

As selectboard airs concerns about Big Y, Price Chopper liquor license denied

“That members of the sober community might be unnecessarily tempted by the alcoholic offerings,”

“Board member Ed Abrahams added that he had voted to give Big Y the all-alcohol license a few years ago and now regrets it. “

Distance And Public Need:

In the past Franklin Liquors brought to the attention of the council the number of licenses on East Central Street.  Currently, Table & Vine (Big Y), Franklin Liquors, Shaw's, And Devita's all occupy the same area, less than one mile.  Devita's and Franklin Liquors sell full alcohol.  Here is a CDC study that is a guide to measuring “density” for alcohol.

Guide for Measuring Alcohol Outlet Density

“High alcohol outlet density, defined as a high concentration of retail alcohol outlets in a small area, is known to be an environmental risk factor for excessive drinking. To prevent excessive drinking, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends “limiting alcohol outlet density through the use of regulatory authority (e.g., licensing and zoning),” which is based on strong scientific evidence of intervention effectiveness.”

“There is strong scientific evidence that regulating alcohol outlet density is one of the most effective strategies for reducing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.”

Section 16C: Licenses for premises located near schools or churches:

We know the applicant has done all the steps to notify abutters and the church within 100 and 500 feet.  Other town departments will also sign off on this request. Many don’t know that New England Chapel hosts Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Do town council members ever follow up with the community or research impact after getting license request?. How does adding additional alcohol exposure impact these community programs in previous safe spaces? Other organizations, such as the Safe Coalition, would be skeptical of this increase. 


Franklin Liquors would like the Town Council to consider denying this transfer request based on:

Great Exposure and Limited Control of Alcohol
Distance And Public Need
The Use of Can’t Compete Requests
Other Towns Having Denied OR Regretted These Transfer Requests
Table & Vine (Big Y) Already Has Beer/Wine-Not Preventing them from selling alcohol
This would be the first Table & Vine (Big Y) Full Liquor in Eastern MA
Table & Vine (Big Y) Has MANY other Store in State in Can Do This In 
Franklin Already Has Alcohol Exposure In 3 of 4 Big Box Stores- IF you approve this Table & Vine (Big Y) gives up their Beer/Wine. If Village Mall closes, chances are Stop & Shop will then apply for that. 
Support of the growing “shop small” movement in Franklin

Thank you for your time in reviewing these details.  We hope you think of all the information provided and choose to deny this transfer. 

Mark And Mike Lenzi
Franklin Liquors 
Vintage 1978 

Voices of Franklin:  Mark and Mike Lenzi
Voices of Franklin:  Mark and Mike Lenzi 


  1. Please give your feedback on this by reaching out to the Town Council or by attending the meeting November 2nd at 7 PM

  2. Can you suggest the best medium for comments to the town council on this subject? I'm unable to attend the meeting.

    1. On the Town Council page you can find the info to contact them individually ->

      Or there is also an option to send them all the same message ->