Who knew wine at Walgreens could threaten the welfare of Menlo Park? After hours of debate, the Planning Commission voted 4-3 on Monday night to deny the drugstore chain's request to sell beer and wine at its Santa Cruz Avenue location.
Commissioners Katie Ferrick, Peipei Yu, Jack O'Malley, and Ben Eiref voted against the permit, saying that allowing a downtown drugstore to sell alcohol for off-premise consumption was inappropriate and detrimental to Menlo Park's welfare.
"I see this as opening the door in town to a number of other businesses," Mr. O'Malley said. "We have to draw the line somewhere."
They argued that given the number of other stores within walking distance of the Walgreens at 643 Santa Cruz Avenue that already sell alcohol, such as Trader Joe's, adding sales to yet another location served neither public necessity nor convenience.
Location, location, location seemed to be the key. "It's a good thing Draeger's doesn't have a Santa Cruz Avenue address," Commissioner John Kadvany noted wryly as he explained why he supported the drugstore's request.
Beverages & More lost a bid to open a small store on Santa Cruz Avenue four years ago for similar reasons.
Walgreens representatives were not immediately available for comment on whether the chain would appeal the decision to the City Council.