Licensing Commission Approves Transfers, Appeals ABCC Ruling

The Licensing Commission approved several license transfers at its meeting last week, including a new owner for the Prattville Mart and a new restaurant at 73 Winnisimmet St.

The Prattville Mart at 383C Washington Ave. saw a change of ownership and a transfer of the wine and malt beverages alcohol license from Prayosha Enterprises to the VanSan Corporation.

While the commission unanimously approved the transfer of the license, Chelsea Police Captain Keith Houghton did have some words of advice for the new owners.

“That location has been robbed like yearly, and I told the previous owner that where the clerk stands, there were advertisements blocking the view,” said Houghton. “I told them every time … you need to keep the window clear.”

Houghton said once the new license goes through, he will stop by to help the new owners address the issue.

“It’s a tough place; it’s been robbed almost yearly around this time, and it’s always because of the visibility of the clerk,” said Houghton. “You want to be visible to the street so people don’t see you as a target.”

The Licensing Commission also approved a transfer of license, pledge of inventory, and pledge of an all alcoholic beverages license from Yong Yong, Inc. to Lime Chelsea, Inc., which plans to open an international fusion restaurant at 73 Winnisimmet St.

The space at 73 Winnisimmet is vacant now, but was recently renovated by a business that was in the location for a short time before closing because of the pandemic.

The restaurant is looking to open in February, according to the attorney representing the owner. The menu will feature an international fusion of Asian, Mediterranean, and African foods.

In other business, Assistant City Solicitor Stephon Treadway requested the Licensing Commission appeal a decision by the Alcoholic Beverage Controls Commission that overturned a license revocation at Las Pupusas Del Chino in 2020.

“The basis of the revocation was three counts: serving an intoxicated person, serving a minor, and failing to maintain 30 days of video surveillance footage,” said Treadway. “All three counts went to the ABCC on appeal, we lost on the first two because we had inadequate evidence in their view of the violation.”

The video surveillance violation was upheld, Treadway said, and the order was to remand to the Chelsea Licensing Commission with the recommendation of a three-day suspension for the establishment.

Treadway said the law department believes the ABCC made an error in failing to draw an adverse inference from the failure to provide the video surveillance.

Houghton said he believed the city should challenge the ABCC ruling.

“If the video was properly given to us, it would have proven the service,” said Houghton.

Tom Campbell, the attorney representing Las Pupusas Del Chino asked that his client be allowed to operate under the license while the matter is resolved in Superior Court.

“The license has been in fact de facto revoked since June of last year,” said Campbell, adding the court case could drag out for over a year.

Treadway said the city would have no objection to Campbell’s request.

However, several Licensing Commission members noted the history of violations at the location and voted not to allow the establishment to operate under the liquor license while the city appeals the ABCC ruling.

The commission also approved the renewal of the completed liquor; common victualler; amusement and entertainment; Class I, II, and III; and rooming house licenses that were before it.

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