The Berkshire Eagle reports that the Price Chopper supermarket chain returned its liquor license to the town of Lee, about two weeks after it stopped selling beer and wine at its store on West Park Street. The 128-store chain decided to relinquish its license in Lee in order to sell beer and wine at a much larger supermarket that has opened in Shrewsbury on Tuesday.
The Schenectady. N.Y.-based chain operates five of its nine Massachusetts stores in Berkshire County, and also sells beer and wine at its supermarkets in Pittsfield and Lenox.
But state law prohibits an individual or business from holding more than three “off-premises” liquor licenses in Massachusetts, meaning a supermarket or liquor store (where alcohol is not consumed on the premises). Restaurants are not subject to the three-license limit.
The Shrewsbury supermarket is significantly larger than the Price Chopper in Lee, which is the fifth smallest store in the entire chain. Price Chopper currently operates the only supermarket in Lee. Big Y Foods is building a 48,000 square foot supermarket at the former Diesel Dan’s Truck Stop on Route 102 that is expected to open by the end of next year.