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Trader Joe’s gets alcohol OK

Foxborough selectmen approved an all-liquor license for a Trader Joe’s supermarket scheduled to open in Patriot Place later this year.

The unanimous decision was made Tuesday on the condition the company agrees not to sell alcohol during events at Gillette Stadium, that it won’t stock containers of alcoholic beverages that are smaller than 8 ounces, and that it will delay the sale of hard liquor until Jan. 1.

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For weeks, residents and town officials have expressed concerns about granting such a license to an establishment so close to Gillette Stadium. The hesitancy didn’t stem from concern about the store itself, officials stressed, but about potential liquor sales as the town is working to curb binge and underage drinking that often plagues events at the stadium and other locales.

Only three of the California-based grocery chain’s 17 Massachusetts stores - in Brookline, Cambridge, and Framingham - sell beer and wine. None sells hard liquor.

With selectmen’s approval, Trader Joe’s will transfer Foxborough’s only available all-alcohol license from Central Wines & Spirits to the new outlet at 350 Patriot Place, the former site of a Circuit City electronics store.

Store management will also work with the town to help identify people who use fake IDs to purchase liquor, town officials said.

On Wednesday, Patriot Place general manager Brian Earley welcomed Trader Joe’s to the mall and said the company has “already proven to be willing and cooperative partners with the community, which validates their reputation as the leading specialty grocer in the US.’’

Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at
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