Volume 75, Number 38 | February 8 -14 2006

C.B. 3 whines after Whole Foods skirts board review of wine license

Whole Foods has applied for a retail wine license for its new store at E. Houston St. and the Bowery, which has angered community members because the health food chain went directly to the State Liquor Authority without notifying Community Board 3. Although notification of and review by the community board are not required for S.L.A. approval of the license, C.B. 3 feels that it shows a lack of good faith and community consideration.

Area liquor stores, which are worried that the larger selection and lower prices that come with big chain stores will hurt small businesses, are carefully watching the S.L.A.’s decision.

“There is an ongoing effort by the wine businesses to make the S.L.A. understand that Whole Foods is not good for the neighborhood,” said George Williams, an employee at Elizabeth and Vine, a wine store on Elizabeth St.

Following the community board’s complaints to both Whole Foods and the S.L.A., Whole Foods agreed to attend the Feb. 9 meeting of the C.B. 3 Cooper Square Urban Renewal Task Force, and the S.L.A. has postponed its vote until Feb. 15.

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