SHIRLEY -- After a brief public hearing last week, selectmen voted unanimously to transfer an existing liquor license for M&M Variety Store on Front Street to Taksh Corporation, which recently purchased the business.

The liquor license is to sell "wine and malt beverages" for off-premises consumption. In other words, a package store for beer and wine only. The store also sells grocery items.

M&M will continue to operate under the same banner, with basically the same layout and no added features, such as food service. But customers could see improvements and its inventory will be better than before, according to the new owner, Chirag Patel, and his attorney, Arthur Pearlman.

Otherwise, Patel told the board he envisions no changes for now.

Patel also owns Apple Town Market in Sterling, which has a full liquor license. He will continue to operate both stores and will act as on-site manager of the Shirley store, he said, assisted by his employees.

Pearlman added that the company is "closely held" and employs family and friends who "know what they are doing." In addition, Patel is "tips trained" to serve alcohol as well as sell it, he said.

Selectman David Swain said he visited the other store and was very satisfied with what he saw there, so he had "no problem" granting the request here. He also noted that the company had met all requirements for the transfer and provided documentation.

Although selectmen have the authority to issue liquor licenses, the state gets the final say.


The application now goes to the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission for review. Once the ABCC okays it, selectmen can issue the license, for which an initial fee is paid to the town, with an additional fee levied annually when the license comes up for renewal.