Maplewood officials OK liquor store; to vote on AirBnb at next meeting

Maplewood officials at the council meeting on Monday unanimously approved a package liquor license, including sales on Sunday and special package tasting license for a store set to replace the former Conoco station at 3600 S. Big Bend Boulevard.

The owner, Gaurang Bhavsar, has operated the Conoco station for three years, and told the council it wasn’t making enough money as a gas station.

Council members asked Bhavsar before the vote about his request for the package tasting license, which is separate and above a liquor license, City Manager Marty Corcoran said. Bhavsar said the additional license would allow tastings that package liquor companies sometimes sponsor.

Mayor Barry Greenberg asked Corcoran if there was a history of problems at the store. Corcoran called the Maplewood police chief during the meeting and reported that in the three years Bhavsar has owned the store there has been no problems of selling alcoholic beverages to minors.

Corcoran said after the meeting that no ordinance that limits the number of liquor stores in Maplewood, just where they can be.

Short term rentals

The council voted unanimously (with neighbor Ray Crader abstaining) to allow Claire Martin to operate a short term vacation rental (AirBnb) at her home at 7127 High Street. The vote was the second taken, after being tabled at the last meeting. The third and final vote is due at the council’s next meeting. The council will also vote to amend the short term vacation rental law to allow it in low and medium residential density zones.

Combined fire command

The item to allow the city to participate in the proposed East Central Fire Command, combining the command structure for Maplewood and three surrounding cities, was removed from the agenda. Corcoran said after the meeting (confirmed by Rock Hill alderman, Philip Scherry via Twitter) that Rock Hill has pulled out of the agreement, and that the remaining cities would absorb the cost. Richmond Heights officials OK’d it in early August.

8 thoughts on “Maplewood officials OK liquor store; to vote on AirBnb at next meeting

  1. I am really sorry to hear it was approved. That place has always been an eyesore, unkempt with seedy characters hanging around. Because it was so run down, we never used it. Before Quick Trip we did use it because of it’s location. It was a mess back then and has become more of a mess.
    I hope it cleans up it’s act and becomes better.

  2. To David & Magen (and anyone else who is wondering about this liquor store and Craft Beer Cellar), Joe S. explained why CBC and a package liquor store were treated differently: “The two locations are under different regulations.” There are different zoning ordinances throughout Maplewood (as is the case in most, if not all, cities). It is very important to remember that the ordinance in the area in which CBC expressed interest was changed to allow craft beer stores (but, not traditional liquor stores). Also, CBC was approved by the City Council the second time around, so there was only a 6-8 week gap from the time their application was originally declined to when they were approved. Then, after being approved, CBC made the decision to not move ahead with their lease. I, too, wish CBC would have been approved the first time (and I was one of a number of people who championed their cause and lobbied the City Council), but the reality is that the ordinance in the area CBC considered locating did not allow their type of business at the time, but was changed to accommodate them because of the value their business could bring and the perceived wishes of the public. So, ordinances did NOT keep CBC from opening in Maplewood. Hopefully, as CBC expands their business they will settle in Maplewood one day.

    And to David B, I assume your comment “This is why we can’t have nice things.” was an attempt at humor. There is not enough space here to list all of the great restaurants and stores in Maplewood that are “nice things” and make us the envy of most neighborhoods in the Greater St. Louis area.

  3. It blows my mind that Maplewood killed the Craft Beer Cellar but fast tracked this place. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • I would have liked Craft Beer Cellar but to compare these two as the same issue is not helpful to advancing the discussion. The two locations are under different regulations. There is no reason to be opposed to this. While I don’t agree with the CBC decision, it has a legal basis for which it can be argued against.

      • I’m not against the currently proposed liquor store because I live on the other side of Maplewood: the suitability of the location is up to the businesses and residents that are nearby.

        What I’m questioning is why the Craft Beer Cellar was so opposed with little or no explanation, yet the old Conoco spot gets unanimously approved after one hearing and a phone call. Please explain to me where I’m wrong in asking why two similar businesses were handled so differently.

          • I was a part of this on another discussion board with someone who went to the meeting. Because the area where the liquor store is located is already zone for liquor sales, and the gas station already sold liquor is the reason they approved it or were not able to stop it from moving forward. The Craft Beer Cellar was not in an area zoned for liquor sales.