AYER -- It was a busy site at 1 Barnum Road on Monday, just days before the opening of the new Barnum Road Liquors store. Delivery men unloaded cases of Busch, Bud Light and other beers as owner Prit Patel oversaw the whole operation.
The liquor store took a little more than a year to finally come to fruition. In October 2012, Patel and his wife, Sangita, won support from selectmen for the transfer of an all-alcohol liquor license by a 3-2 vote, The Public Spirit reported earlier.
Now, Patel hopes to open the new store this week or next week.
Patel has owned Net Variety and Liquors in Shirley for 15 years, and said there is a lot of business in Ayer.
"Here you have a bigger market than anybody else," he said.
Customers can pick up 30-packs of beer in the 44-foot walk-in cooler, and a non-alcoholic section offers snacks and soda. Patel said he'll also be selling Massachusetts lottery tickets.
Patel said Timothy Bresnahan asked him if he wanted to buy his liquor license, then addressed to C.R. Pierce, Inc.
The problem was that it was issued for 30 Main St., right next to Ayer Liquors.
"I said if I find a location then I'll buy it, so he agreed," Patel said.
Patel later bought the building at 1 Barnum Road from Peter Warren for $400,000, The Public Spirit reported.
With Jack O'Lantern Liquors just across the rotary, the 2012 Board of Selectmen voiced some concern over competition before approving the license transfer.
But Patel said he is not concerned. In Shirley, he pointed out, there are three stores right next to each other.
"I don't worry," he said.
His prices will be right, too, he said, because he always matches everybody's prices.
Across the road at Jack O'Lantern Liquors, manager Kathy Seniw said she did not think the new store would hurt business.
She said Jack O'Lantern has been a liquor store for quite some years now and has built a good following.
"We have loyal customers and we have a variety of liquor, beer and wine, so I feel it won't hurt us," she said.
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