July 12, 2011 – Gov. Deval Patick signed legislation last week that clears the way for The Vin Bin to move to its new location in the old fire station on Main Street and expand its offerings.
The legislation, a home-rule petition, will allow the shop that already specializes in gourmet beer, wine and cheeses to also sell spirits once it moves from 27 South Bolton St. to the old fire station at 91 Main St.
“We’re very pleased that he signed it,” The Vin Bin owner Rick Lombardi said.
Lombardi said he’s pleased with how quickly the entire process moved along after the City Council approved sending the home-rule petition to the Legislature at the end of March. He said he expects to be able to open at the new spot by September or October.
“We’ll be up and running by the holiday season, which was our goal,” Lombardi said.
The legislation was needed because the city does not have any more full liquor licenses to distribute to retail businesses. The wine and malt license the store currently holds will be returned to the city.
Lombardi said The Vin Bin stocks hard-to-find specialty offerings, a practice he intends to continue when selecting the spirits allowed under the expanded license.
“We will take the exact same mission we have,” he said. “We will be looking for things that are unique and uncommon.”
The legislation restricts the license to 91 Main St. and stipulates that the Licensing Board can only transfer the license to another applicant at the same address.
There was about a weeklong delay in approving the legislation when the state Senate called for a minor amendment to the name of the business as written in the bill, Lombardi said, although the change did not alter the spirit of the measure. After the Senate called for the amendment, the legislation bounced back to the House of Representatives for approval.
The building closed as a fire station in 1995 and a handful of businesses are currently housed there.
City Council President Arthur Vigeant said the old fire station hasn’t been of much interest to businesses and he is glad to see the location go to good use.
“That space has been a lot more difficult to lease than we originally thought,” he said. “It’s a good fit and I think it’s going to be a great addition to the downtown.”
Vigeant said he doesn’t think it will be long before a new business moves into the South Bolton Street location The Vin Bin will be vacating.
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