Two women lead charge against BevMo store


They met at a Menlo Park Planning Commission meeting on Aug. 23, when the commission voted 4-3 to approve a use permit for he Beverages & More chain to open a store at 700 El Camino Real, in the former location of Chili's restaurant.

They share a passion about preserving small, family-owned businesses. And they decided to work together to appeal the commission's decision and ask the City Council to overturn it.

On Monday night, Oct. 4, the two Menlo Park women -- Maureen Hogan and Barbara Rosasco -- made their case against the BevMo permit to a sympathetic audience, members of the nonprofit group Hometown Peninsula, which works to help locally owned businesses and also opposes the BevMo permit.

About 30 people gathered to hear them in the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church meeting space behind Ace Hardware in downtown Menlo Park.

Ms. Hogan and Ms. Rosasco gave them a preview of the case they plan to make to the City Council on Nov. 9.

Ms. Hogan said she and her husband decided to move to Menlo Park from Palo Alto three years ago. "We liked the downtown and felt it was a very family-friendly area," she said. When she was young, she noted, her family owned a small business.

Her key argument is that the BevMo store does not meet the required standard of "necessity and convenience" to award a use permit. There are already 14 places in Menlo Park that sell alcohol within a three-mile radius, she said, including the Safeway store on El Camino Real, across the street from the proposed BevMo site.

In addition, she said, BevMo would be detrimental to the community since a majority of its revenues will be "cannibalizing sales" from local merchants, who have stronger ties to the community and their employees. Based on numbers from city staff, Ms. Hogan said the net sales tax gain for Menlo Park would amount to only about $17,000 a year.

Ms. Rosasco said she was recently repatriated after living for 20 years in Japan, where she owned a small business. "What unmet service is (BevMo) providing?" she asked, noting that there is already a BevMo in Redwood City.

Local merchants, she said, have a personal relationship with staff, provide better working conditions, and support "countless community events."

Many Menlo Park residents oppose the BevMo application, she said, and 1,500 of them sent the city postcards expressing that opposition. In recent days, the City Council's e-mail inboxes have been swamped with messages of opposition.

Among people in the audience at the Oct. 4 meeting was Councilman (and candidate for re-election) Heyward Robinson, who said he agrees with the "sentiment" expressed at the meeting, but couldn't go beyond that since he will be sitting in judgment on the issue when it comes before the council.

Another candidate at the meeting, Peter Ohtaki, said he generally supports businesses coming into Menlo Park, but he didn't think BevMo "makes the cut" due to its negative impact on local business and the fact that there are already 14 places in Menlo Park that sell alcohol.

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Posted by Nick Sharma
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 5, 2010 at 8:13 am

Hello, I am the store manager at The Willows Market in Menlo Park and I agree with Maureen Hogan on this topic. Our existence is threatened by discount chain stores like Bevmo. There has been a grocery store at 60 Middlefield Road in Menlo Park since 1954 and a large part of our sales are wine/ specialty beer and spirits. If we are driven out of business by Bevmo then our neighborhood will loose a full service grocery store that sells meat, produce, and groceries, not just wine, beer, and spirits. The sustainability of independent businesses in towns say a lot about the character of the community and the priorities of the community. For anyone who is more interested in this topic, please attend the city council meeting that is coming up in November. Thanks!

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Posted by Jason E. Sutherland
a resident of Woodside High School
on Oct 5, 2010 at 8:16 am

This presentation by these two passionate women was an excellent example of true hometown spirit. Although, there was not much (if any) opposition to the "oppose BevMo!" stance in last nights Hometown Peninsula meeting, the message sent by Maureen and Barbara was loud and clear.

As the Owner / Founder of Peninsula Shops and a Hometown Peninsula Board Member I encourage all of us to check out Web Link. The facebook page is designed to teach the community more about how we can help mobilize this cause and hopefully assure a favorable outcome in support of our unique hometown efforts during the November 9th appeal in front of City Council!

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

Local stores that provide high quality and good customer service have nothing to fear from chain stores on any type. Focus on your customers - not the competition. Protecting local stores from competition will simply lead to lower quality and higher prices.

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Posted by welcome bevmo!
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 9:02 am

It is scary to see how venomous people can get when confronted with possible competition. Seems a little witch-hunty to me. If you don't like the new BevMo, don't go there! I may never set foot in the store but I am glad to see someone occupying that space and, yes, producing sales tax revenue for our city.

I'm sure the strip mall owner would have been happy to have rented to local retail operators, but expect there wasn't a huge demand for the space. And although there are other stores that sell liquor, I don't think there is an actual liquor store any closer than Beltramos. But Beltramos is outside the downtown perimeter, and not near other shops. The new BevMo will draw customers -- people who would otherwise drive right through Menlo Park -- who may then decide to stop at Big5 or Staples to do their other errands.

I agree with Peter: put down the pitchforks, focus on serving the customers you do have, and stop trying to stomp all over free enterprise.

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Posted by Garland
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:26 am

I believe we should ban all alcohol sales in Menlo Park and make it a "dry town"

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Posted by Tired of This
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:28 am

Why don't the members of Hometown Peninsula, Willows Market, Beltramo's, Draegers, and anyone else who feels threatened by BevMo, pool their money together and present the owner of 700 El Camino better lease terms than BevMo is willing to agree to. That way, the space will FINALLY be occupied, it will produce tax income for the city, and they can use the space to stage another useless protest to undermine the planning commission every time our elected officials present a ruling that aligns with the VAST MAJORITY of Menlo Park and neighboring residents' opinions. Then, they can stop wasting everyone else's money and patience, and concentrate solely on wasting their own.

Seriously, if you don't like BevMo, DON'T SHOP THERE. Do we need a governmental body to be used to force us to make that choice? Looks like we might as well flush free enterprise down the drain...

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Posted by LetFreedomRing!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:44 am

As a Menlo Park resident it saddens me that Maureen Hogan and Barbara Rosasco are petitioning against BevMo on the bases of pure emotion and not FACT! So why don't we look at the facts:

1) Redwood City BevMo has over 1500 registered card holders that live in Menlo Park. These customers have a huge "Necessity" to have the store in their town not only as a convenience but to lower their carbon foot print on the community.

2) The new BevMo will generate revenue for the town even if it's $17,000, that's $17,000 more the city can use for road construction, parks, wages for city workers and a whole host of other issues; not to mention more job opportunities for local workers.

3) The new BevMo will not be located in the downtown location, it will be at 700 El Camino Real across the street from Safeway and next to the abandoned car dealer; if you look around that area it's all commercial stores, ie: Big 5, Staples, Safeway, Starbucks, Rubio's, Shell gas station and a soon to be Petco! Why isn't anyone complaining about those commercial venues?

4) Who's to say Beltramo's liquor store will be here in 1, 2 or 5 years?? They are trying to take competition out of the market place, which is NON-American! You know who does that: Cuba, Venezuela and the former USSR. [Portion removed.]
... Wake Up Menlo!!

5) BevMo will bring much needed competition to this market which in turn will raise everyone level of service and prices which will be good for all Menlo Park residence; competition works and it's a good thing!

If the city council opposes BevMo we as a community need to question just who's running this town? and their motives for opposing BevMo because if you look at the FACTS and not emotion it is plain to see that having BevMo in Menlo Park will be a major positive for the town!

Let Freedom Ring!!

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Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:53 am

I could see the emotion, but since this "initiative" is funded by the competition, I am lost as to why they think this should sway me or any rational person. If this group opposed all "chains" then I could understand what they are attempting. If this group called for the removal of all chains (which is what their basis is) then we could have a 90%-99% empty storefront town.

Think about it, we could advertise for tourists to come see a ghost town, it is almost Halloween!

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Posted by Guppigirl
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Do we really need a BevMo in Menlo Park when we can just simply go up the road a few miles to RWC? Seriously, if you're that concerned about your "carbon footprint" then combine it with your trip to Target and Costco. I wish another family-friendly restaurant would open in that space instead.

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Posted by Central Menlo
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm

The best part about a free market business environment is that you have the opportunity to rent the space and open a restaurant. There are only two obstacles:
1) You'll need to overcome Menlo Park's zoning, ordinances and never-in-short-supply opinions, and
2) You'll need to wait behind the other four businesses who are in line to open their restaurant in that very same space. Or is it six...
Wishing won't help anything very much, but you are free to do that too.

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Posted by been there
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I have been into BevMo in Redwood City and decided there was nothing in the store I needed. What I object to is the interference in free enterprise. Competition is good for everyone, including Menlo Park. How the City even considers restraining trade seems un-American. I guess we do live in the People's Republic of Menlo Park.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm

This is so transparently a ploy by Beltramos and Draegers as to be laughable. They don't want a chain store in Menlo Park? Well I guess we need to get rid of Safeway, Walgreens, Peets, Starbucks, Big 5, Staples, etc. If the citizens of Menlo Park REALLY don't want a Bevmo here they won't shop there and it will go out of business. I suspect the majority would like to have a Bevmo. Isn't free enterprise a wonderful thing?

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Posted by Wine drinking retailer
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I agree with the comments about a witch hunt. Passionate opposition based on some a small number of fired up activists is not a good basis for public policy. Local retail is a good thing, but we're not talking about putting a Walmart in downtown Menlo Park. When I buy wine in Menlo Park I usually do it at another chain, Trader Joe's. I don't hear any locals crying to boot TJ's out of town, and they just added a store in Town & Country.

BevMo is willing to invest capital and employ locals to run a store they think will be profitable. We should let them do it.

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Posted by what?
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Safeway has a stronger tie to the community then BevMo? Huh?

I think Safeway needs some competition - they are an over-priced racket.

-El Camino in Menlo Park is so full of vacancies, it is sad. I am glad one is fillng up.

-It is unfortunate that this Strip Mall owner only likes to rent to chains - but that is not the City's fault.

-If you don't like Bevmo don't shop there. Just like no one ate at Chili's.

It would be nice to have a non-chain store go in there, but I cannot name one that I could see being there.

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Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Comparing Menlo Park to the former USSR -- I'm not sure why but somehow it makes some sense to me. Good one! (Maybe it's the rule-by-minority preventing prosperity and growth or some such...)

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm

What is the relation between these two women and the Beltramos/Draegers?

[Editor's note: Maureen Hogan says they have no ties to Beltramo's or Draeger's.]

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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Add deeelish (another tenant in the same strip mall) to the closed businesses. we received email last week telling us they will not reopen their Menlo Park store and are merging with "Sous Kitchen" in san mateo.

So this shopping center is getting emptier by the day.

why sholdn't we let BevMo in there? this fear of competition is ridiculous and insulting to the residents of Menlo Park..


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm

So, the Beltramos get to build their 5 townhouses, and begin developing their property, but they do not want others, who are trying to bring revenue to the city, to have a use permit for BevMo, and be able to use their property. Should we protect their business, and allow more residents with no additional tax base?

Nice job of having your cake and eating it as well. And I naively thought the job of government was to help consumers, not competitors.

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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm

So, first and foremost, I wholeheartedly agree with the VAST majority of posters here. The Planning Commission did its job, and their decision should be upheld by the City Council. Now having stated which side I'm on, let me add a few more comments. The article in today's Daily Post (a story you won't read in the Almanac) reports that the reason the City Council has received a whole 43 emails supporting the Beltramo's puppets appeal is because along with a letter asking people to send emails to the Council, Beltramos included a 15% discount coupon.To me, the Beltramos reaction is PROOF that competition, or the fear there of, is good for the consumer. On a Beltramo related note, the Planning Commission last night approved their request to renig on the deal to build 3 below market rate units in their upcoming 16 unit housing project and instead let them build only one. In my mind, a travesty. Lastly, a point about the owner of the strip mall that might lose a tenant if the Bevmo deal gets iced by the City Council (which by the way I predict will happen (vote 3-2) since this is an election year) this will be one major landlord in MP (the Beltramos) screwing another. Not cool.

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Posted by KeithW
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I just received a mailer, offering $15 off on a $100 purchase at Beltramo's. It also asked me to send in a public comment opposing the BevMo.

SHAME ON YOU, Beltramo's, trying to buy public opinion.

You are running a liquor store of 18,000 square feet, and objecting to a 9,000 square foot BevMo as a "Big Box". You have good service and a good selection of wines and spirits, and the experience in this business needed to be an effective competitor on fair and even terms. I am disappointed, and feel this approach is beneath the Beltramo family's normal standards.

And it most certainly is not what our free enterprise system should be about.

I also think Beltramos is needlessly worried. The 1200-1500 existing Menlo Park Customers of BevMo are far more likely to shift their trade from BevMo's own Redwood City store, reducing car trips and traffic on El Camino. Grow up, Beltramos, and just do a better job. That is how you keep customers in teh long run, in any case.

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Posted by Don
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I like BevMo stores. I used to shop at the one in San Mateo, where some in the neighborhood also tried to prevent them from setting up shop. I've seen them hire the handicapped. They have really good wine sales and stock some harder-to-find wines. Also some obscure breweries. It won't put stores that sell beer and wine as part of their offerings out of business.

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Posted by Agree with Don
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I like BevMo. I also like K&L, so I am more concerned about them than anyone else. I love Willows Market, but some of their prices are insanely high, catering to monied last minute shoppers. Yes, I get the need and want them to continue to make it as well. But pretending that BevMo would run them out of business is silly.

MP needs the business BevMo will bring - and you can park there w/out getting a parking ticket.

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Posted by Gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Next time a restaurant wants to open up,will there be opposition because we have lots of them already in Menlo Park?

I buy very little in alcoholic beverages, but when I do I go to BevMo in Palo Alto. Turns out, what I want to buy is usually not available at Safeway, Costco, or other places I have looked.

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Posted by Earle Jones
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Since 1994 I have been a good customer of BevMo. Their service is great and their choice of products is excellent. My membership card was issued the day the store opened -- the Palo Alto store. I hate to think how much money I have spent there during the past 16 years -- the tax on which went to Palo Alto.

I would certainly shop at a local BevMo in Menlo Park.

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Posted by Yes.
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm

No Bev Mo? THEN YES TO HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES TO COMPENSATE the vacancies from the NIMBYS! Just like high speed rail...oh it's comin'! Majority rules not two in the minority.

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Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Shame on this idiotic little campaign and a greater shame on the candidates for City Council who attended it. Lest any of these fools forget, a dollar not raised in sales tax from Bevmo. IS A DOLLAR COMING FROM YOU......

Get It.........I swear I am sometimes amazed by the moronic attitude of my neighbors......

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Posted by Pro Property Owner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Has anybody thought about the property owner of the strip mall that BevMo would like to habitate? The land is owned by a long-time Menlo family, the Morey's, who deserve some consideration by our fair city. They have contributed generously over the years to help make Menlo Park the city that we love. Many generations still live here, are involved in supporting our schools and churches, and still have a family business in the area (Peninsula Building Materials). The Draeger and Beltramo families are not the only ones to be considered.

Wouldn't it be better to have reputable business occupy the Chili's space, one that will create jobs and contribute much-needed tax dollars to our town? We shouldn't be so quick to chase them away.

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Posted by Economic Development Advocate
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I agree w/many of the comments about allowing BevMo to open. The more competition, the better. Peter Carpenter is correct about focusing on the customers instead of the competition. Isn't that what Silicon Valley is all about anyway?

Also, I have heard that Planning Commissioner Kirsten Keith, who is also a City Council candidate, was against BevMo because it would not be a union shop. I hope that's not the case. However, if it is, then Menlo Park voters should question whether she is suitable to make decisions that affect the economic development of Menlo Park, since she would be representing a very strong special interest group. I don't know if what I heard about Kirsten Keith is correct. If someone out there does, please enlighten me. I don't want to incorrectly pass judgment, but I think Menlo Park voters have the right to know, since she claims to support Measure L.

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a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm

I, like the apparent majority of Menlo residents, support BevMo's opening in the old Chili's location. I fell in love with fine wine almost 20 years ago. Most of my initiation was due to Beltramo's. They used to run weekend tastings that were reasonable (~$20-30 for 9 or more wines). Then these became $60, and then $80. I really enjoyed the afternoons there learning about wines. It was close; I could ride my bike there!

When BevMo opened it had a clear impact on Belt's pricing, for which I am grateful. I hardly ever set foot in Belt's anymore, unless I am in a really big hurry and need to buy some beer at MSRP. I frequent the RWC Bevmo, and love it; except it is very cramped and requires a modest drive.

I am really impressed by Bevmo's MV store; very roomy great selection! I can't wait to see Bevmo in their new MP location. I'll be there frequently --maybe too frequently! I think there is definitely a Strong need for a BevMo in Menlo Park. In Fact, I'd rate it a Necessity!

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Posted by Interested Neighbor
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm

[Post removed. Please discuss the issue, don't deal with rumors or personal attacks.]

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Posted by BBR
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 5, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I received the mailing from Beltramo's with a coupon and a letter informing me of this topic. I say Bravo Beltramo's. Thank you for letting me know.

I think Beltramo's has every right to inform its customer base, and they are by no way "buying" my support. They send those coupons all the time. And I have the freedom to do as I choose: to use the coupon or not and to oppose BevMo or not.

I choose to OPPPOSE BevMo.

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Posted by Backstory
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Perhaps we are dealing with a callous landlord that has purposely sought out a tenant that it knows the City finds distasteful so that it can charge BevMo inflated rents for access to our community.

If the town council approves BevMo in the name of "free markets," they'll be encouraging other landlords to find objectionable tenants who are willing to pay dearly thereby making it more difficult for desirable operators to afford to locate in Menlo Park.

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Government should not be making these decisions.

If you don't like BevMo, don't shop there.

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Posted by Evelyn
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Someone should appeal the Beltramo's townhomes. Let them build three BMR units instead of one. Or those townhomes shouldn't be allow to build at all, the site had a former dry cleaning store located there, who knows what's in the soil. Otherwise the Beltramos would not have to wait a decade to build those houses.

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Posted by You sound like the tea party!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

The "Let Freedom Ring" rhetoric makes my skin crawl... and the main issue of why BevMo has to be approved by city government has been lost here.

If this were a restaurant or non-liquor store retailer, this would not have gone to planning commission or city council. Since it is a liquor store, the city government is REQUIRED to approve or deny a use permit for this store by making certain findings outlined by state agencies.

It is not a matter of whether commissioners or council members agree with free market principals or not; state law dictates that, among other things, the store has to be found to be a necessity or convenience. It was determined by the licensing board to be located within a census tract that is defined by state law to already have a saturation of liquor stores.


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Posted by CItyInsider
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 11:47 pm

These two civic minded women have uncovered the REAL story behind BeMov! Take time to learn the facts!

Q: Does Towerbrook, the UK based Private Equity Firm who owns BevMo care about Menlo Park?
A: NO, they have a business plan in place to saturate the market and eventually sell the venture at a profit. Absentee corporate owners do not make good neighbors.

Q: What about the tax revenue Menlo Park so badly needs?
A: Any tax revenue will be a result of cannibalizing sales from existing merchants. Net gain for our city - zero!

Q: Why are we even talking about this situation?
A: Use Permits are required for liquor stores, gun shops and massage parlors. There are 14 establishments selling alcohol within a 3.5 mile radius of the proposed location, INCLUDING another BevMo! Using criteria needed to grant a Menlo Park Use Permit, BevMo's application should never have been approved.

This has nothing to do with the free market, it has to do with responsible city planning!

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Posted by John
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:57 am

Sorry, but I've never bought into the whole local-small-business versus big-box-multinational-corporation argument. Most of us don't own local small businesses, but we can invest in big box chains and most of our retirement plans are likely to be at least partly invested in big boxes. Arguments about how local small businesses are better for the local economy ignore that fact.

True, that won't be the case with BevMo. They are privately held by the private equity firm, TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. But BevMo was founded and is headquartered in the Bay Area. And while TowerBrook is headquartered in New York, one of their three offices is in San Francisco and many of the principals in that office have Stanford degrees. I wouldn't be surprised if they have as big a local presence as the Beltramos or Draegers. TowerBrook also has a foundation that donates to charities in their communities. Which is what Menlo Park will become if a BevMo store opens here.

At the same time Beltramo's and Draeger's are hardly mom-and-pop operations. Both of those families are far better off than mine will ever be. And they don't cater to the same market as BevMo. It's been many years since Beltramo depended on sales to Stanford students or even the average local resident. They and Draeger's mainly cater to the Atherton crowd. They would be located in Atherton if it had a commercial district. The stores that will be most affected by a Menlo Park BevMo are Safeway and Trader Joe's (which is itself really a fancy liquor store), the Redwood City and Mountain View BevMos and Ernies/A-1 Liquor (who will lose keg sales to Stanford frats & sororities), and the Redwood City and Mountain View Costcos. But, of course, trying to protect Safeway, Trader Joe's, and Costco would ring hollow to most voters. Except for sales taken from Safeway and the Menlo Park TJ's, this will result in increased tax revenues to Menlo Park.

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Posted by MenloShopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

Thanks to all here who are speaking out in support of BevMo. It's important to give the City Council needed support when they face an expected large crowd of opponents in November when the permit appeal is heard. More observations: A recent "sting" operation caught several (6?) MP liquor stores selling to underage decoys, which is much less likely with BevMo's underage store restrictions. There's also a issue about whether the decision to consider BevMo a "convenience" is valid. IMO, this provision is meant to help cities control nuisance liquor stores near schools, in low-income neighborhoods, and so on. That's not at issue here. Instead, an attempt is being made to use this permit condition to influence the local economy. Driving three miles to shop is also inconvenient for many of us, and the K&L wine store on ECR, closer to the RC BevMo than Beltramo's, shows no signs of going out of business.

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Posted by No More
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:09 am

I'd like to say thanks to all those that oppose a BevMo in Menlo Park. I agree. I don't want it for a multitude of reasons: they are not great places to shop, they lack charm, they are quite likely to put a valued independent out of business, and their part time employees don't know our kids making it too easy for sneaky high school kids to access. But this decision should not be made on opinions.

I want a City Council that sticks to the facts and necessary legal findings set for by our civil code and the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control). And the fact is that another liquor store (Bevmo or otherwise) is NOT necessary or more convenient to MP shoppers. Thus the permit should be denied.

The City must also conclude that another liquor store is not a detriment to the city...maybe that's were my reasoning above comes in. It is a detriment if it hurts the charm or our town or hurts our independent retailers, and it is a detriment to give high schoolers one more chance to game the system and get drunk.

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Posted by Pago
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Let's not forget that the Beltramo's already also own [portion deleted] Oasis and Dutch Goose.

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Posted by No More Please
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm

BevMo is better than a vacancy. Look around, the less anchor attractions, the less people will spend money in Menlo. Cast your dollar votes, and let others cast theirs. Bev Mo is a better location so the parking czars won't get them for staying too long.

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Posted by no ties
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I have no ties to any of the merchants in question. Having said that, I really try to support local businesses over chain stores, even if the local stores have to charge a bit more for the same items. For example, I always try to shop at Village Stationers on Santa Cruz Avenue even though Staples is right down the road. I worry that the chains will eventually force the locals out of business, and that will take away the vibrant, small-town feel of Santa Cruz Avenue and the surrounding streets. I dropped in at Draegers the other day and was reminded of how fortunate we are to have a store that stocks so many gourmet jams, vinegars, cheeses, chocolates and more. Even if you can only afford to buy one item, it's so nice to have a cornucopia of choice right in Downtown Menlo Park. Same goes for Keplers. This is about preserving the quality of the town-- not about where you buy your liquor.

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Posted by Chester McFly
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Do we get an adult bookstore, a pawn shop, a check cashing service, and a tattoo parlor to complement the BevMo? You free market monkeys wouldn't object, right? I'm only half-kidding, but it sure is a shame we can't get something -- anything -- in that location which offers the community more than cheap(er) alcohol.


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Posted by Dear Chester
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Bevmo isn't even cheaper!
They just do a lot of marketing to make us think so.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:35 am


I would have no objections to any of those businesses opening their doors in Menlo Park. Because they would rather quickly close their doors for lack of business. Which is what will happen to BevMo if the people of Menlo Park REALLY don't want to shop there. My money is on BevMo being here for quite some time.

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Posted by Welcome BevMo!
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:47 am

"With a capital T and that rhymes with B and that stands for booze." Yeah, bring in the BevMo, and the next thing you know, there will be hookers right there at El Camino and Ravenswood, our kids will be joining gangs, and no one will be stopping at red lights for fear of carjacking.

C'mon, I thought people who lived in Menlo Park were smarter than that. No one is going to set up shop here unless it looks as though there's money to be made (isn't Madam Katherine still reading palms down the road?) But, hey, if an adequate number of MP residents want tattoos or XXX-rated movies, then there should be local shops providing those services. Though if Deelish!!! can't stay in business, I expect a massage parlor wouldn't rake in enough revenue to last for very long either.

Those of you who find the rest of us immoral may want to consider moving to another community that shares your values. Most of Kansas is still dry!

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Posted by long time resident
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:16 am

We don't need an other big chain in Menlo Park---pretty soon we will look like Redwood City!!

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Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

What a STUPID issue. So TYPICAL of the people who do not see what is going on in the world far more important.
I am glad to hear the projections that POT or MARIJUANA is finally going to be legalized, but the drunks can still roam the highways.
These two ladies are caricatures of "concerned citizens".
Think about the poor and starving instead and raise money for saving children and education.

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Posted by downtown eyes
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

How about taking action on the things we care about. If the allure of MP is small, family operated businesses - how about spending your time and energy putting together a business plan and opening a family business that will fill a gap and promote your wish for this type of small town utopia? So much time and energy is spent complaining and that same time and energy could be spent doing something creative and actionable - not simply wishing for things without putting in the effort to make it a reality

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Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 12:32 pm

[Post removed. Stay on topic.]

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Posted by Interesting Times
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm

There is merit to arguments on both sides of the BevMo issue. Like most "hot topics" these days, there are strong opinions for and against. I guess there aren't many issues left where there is widespread consensus and which don't contain some measure of divisiveness and derision.

Pragmatically, the good news here is we have two opportunities to vote our convictions... we can vote with our ballots on Nov 2nd (by selecting Council candidates), and if BevMo is eventually approved by Council, then we can vote with our pocketbooks by shopping the store or not.

This is a classic case of democracy and capitalism at work. Those for and against BevMo are campaigning and expressing their opinions and right to voice their opinions. AOK by me. Personally, I'd rather have the choice to exercise my votes and, in this instance, there are "two kicks at the can" to do so.

If BevMo comes or not, I don't think it signals the "end of humanity" in Menlo Park as we know it; but it is fortunate and important that we have the opportunity to choose and express ourselves freely. Let's be at least somewhat grateful for that...

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Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm

To "Interesting Times"
{Portion removed; terms of use.]
BevMo has nothing to do with the times nor does it overshadow my point that they should spend their last years thinking about how little alcohol matters or where it is sold.
If I were to take your political/foppish view, I would then tell you that I think they are swell, the argument holds vodka, and that it is still a stupid thing to ignore humanity.

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Posted by Interesting Times
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm

To "R.Gordon"

Yo Dude... I'm with you on BevMo and this topic. No need to get so worked up. You can call folks whatever you like, buy your liquor wherever it's available and hold/express whichever views you want to on BevMo, Menlo Park residents and HSR. I just happen to think we're lucky to be able to do those things, particularly because I've been in places where it isn't the case, at least not without consequences. If that makes me old fashioned, then fine.

Your reply also reinforced the point that virtually all subjects these days are derisive, even this ostensibly small one. I too believe that there are far more important issues in our area and in our state than this that should get the focus. I don't believe BevMo in MP is a "national crisis" thing that some are seemingly making out to be. Still, folks have the option to spend their time how they want and can afford to (like posting on this forum),and they can get all worked up about stuff if they so choose. From where I sit, choice is good. Advocating for one's POV is good too.

As for me, I'll be voting with my pocketbook on this issue since I can't vote at the ballot box given where I live; and like you, I will buy some vodka from BevMo should they eventually move into Menlo Park.

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Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:41 am

It is true......I CAN vote my convictions, but am not permitted to voice them here, so, I hope to reach those whose elitist attitudes and complaints try and keep first amendment rights, which have nothing to do with the "RULES FOR POSTING".
I KNOW I am correct just as the word Jerry Brown was in describing Meg Whitman in a PRIVATE conversation.
When you hear what he said, it DID have a point, but the knuckleheads only saw the word for harlot which was used freely for centuries before Menlo, Atherton and Woodside were even conceived. W_ORE was used as commonly as trollop but the word BEVMO might have cause a person to be jailed during Elizabethan times.
Get off your Royal Editing buffs and study your reasons for objecting to my submissions, or I will be direct in naming names of people who are involved DIRECTLY with corruption and with examples and include it with buildings which are being mentioned on this ALMANAC.
The editors are similar to our country's news which is mostly run by Ruppert Murdoch, an Aussie; while this newspaper's investors, I would wager, is supported by members of the SAN MATEO COUNTY's corrupt members.

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a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:59 am

R.Gordon, it is a struggle to understand whether you are simply and wildly off topic, or how your musings and ramblings make any sense. I have half a mind to click "Report Objectionable Content", but that, sadly, would remove the entertainment value that your post delivers. Still trying to understand how your thoughts have anything to do with BevMo. Perhaps repost & explain, or submit a separate topic to the Forum?

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Posted by ashamed to admit
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm

OMG i am soooo embarrassed that I posted that last post to REALLY CHIC and I typed that name instead of mine.

I know, I know, I know, my post has nothing to do with the topic and for sure I bet the editor will delete my posts, and probably this one, just like he has done every other time. really now, aren't there more important issues that shouldn't be omitted

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Posted by Matt
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm

BevMo would be a convienence for me. Instead of driving to the one in Redwood City I will now be able to ride my bike to the one in Menlo Park.

It's really quite perlexing the way our political system can be manipulated and turn simplified issues in costly politial processes. I have faith the City Council of Menlo Park will see through all of the purchased support and vote based on their opinion on whether BevMo will be a convienence or not. Pretty simple in my case.

Resident of Menlo Park

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