John Avalos opposes alcohol sales for Richmond CVS Pharmacy 

CVS Pharmacy is poised to obtain one of those coveted permits to sell alcohol, in a city that banned the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and spoke strongly against a plan by Walgreens to start selling alcohol.

CVS Pharmacy has applied for the permit as part of its plans to move into 3132 Clement St., the 2002 building that once housed Albertsons Supermarket. The grocery store shutdown in 2006. The building space was subdivided and a portion is occupied by Fresh And Easy, which is also permitted to sell beer, wine and liquor.

The Board of Supervisors City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee voted 2-1 Monday to approve the sale of alcohol at the business.

Supervisor John Avalos opposed the permit issuance and called for a broader citywide policy on the permits as it relates to chain stores and other businesses. Avalos was one of the supervisors who had previously spoke against the Walgreens plan.

“I’m not sure there is a real necessity that CVS really needs to have a liquor license to be able to be operating on this spot,” Avalos said.

Supervisor Eric Mar, whose district includes the site, said that the community is supportive of CVS moving in, and not opposed to the selling of alcohol. He added that there are 13 restrictions to curtail possible negative side effects associated with alcohol sales.

Among them, sales from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., no hard liquor sales, and no sale of single high alcohol content beer drinks. “You would have to buy [beer] in packs so that people would take them home as opposed to drinking them in the parking lot,” Mar said. “I see this not as a precedent for CVS or Walgreens but more on a case-by-case basis.

The full board is expected to vote on the permit next Tuesday.

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