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Allston Marty’s to close doors on March 21

College students are accustomed to wishing their friends farewell for long periods to go home for summer break, but this weekend a dear friend, Allston liquor store Marty’s Liquors, will be dropping out early.

Owner Marty Siegal’s family has been renting at the location for 61 years, but a recent rent hike caused Siegal to pull the plug on the Allston location, he said. The store will close on March 21.

‘Long story short, we could not come to an amicable rental arrangement and agreement,’ Siegal said.

The economy has affected Siegal’s ability to keep the Allston store open because he does not want to be ‘locked in’ to an unaffordable rent, a problem that is not an issue for the Newton location of Marty’s Liquors because he owns the building himself, he said.

However, Siegal said he is ‘avidly’ looking for another Allston-Brighton location for Marty’s Liquors.

‘There are options out there,’ he said. ‘We haven’t fallen in love with anything that’s available yet, but there’s plenty available.’

All merchandise from the Allston location will be moved to the Newton location, which sees about four to five times more customers per day than the Allston store because it’s on the Massachusetts Turnpike and has plenty of parking, Siegal said.

Siegal said he is not particularly worried about the Allston location closing because it did not bring in the ‘bulk’ of the company’s income and many customers choose the Newton location over its Allston counterpart.

‘They’ve naturally made that change on their own,’ Siegal said. ‘If they live halfway in between, they take a left instead of a right.’

Siegal said most customers who walk into the Allston location tend to be disappointed because Allston caters towards a young crowd. Most of the Newton location’s customers drive to buy their alcohol in bulk, a practice uncommon among college students, he said.

‘When I was a student, I just bought what I needed for the next few days and then went back for more,’ Siegal said. ‘If you leave too much around the apartment somebody will drink it.’

Siegal has offered jobs to all Allston location employees at the Newton location, Allston Store Manager Robert Tibor said. Some employees have declined the offer, he said.

‘They don’t want to commute over there,’ Tibor, a 12-year veteran employee of the store, said.

College of Arts and Science senior Carrie-Anne Solana, who lives two blocks from Marty’s Liquors, said she preferred Marty’s over other liquor stores, such as Blanchard’s Liquors, because it was the closest to her apartment.

‘Everybody’s really helpful,’ Solana said. ‘I’ve never gone there and they didn’t have what I was looking for.’

School of Hospitality Administration senior Tiffany Mah said she is also upset about the closure because it is the closest liquor store to her room in the Student Village.

‘Blanchard’s is kind of a walk, and Marty’s is on the way to Allston-Brighton on the B line,’ Mah said. ‘Most of us don’t have cars.’

Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences junior Chris Caravanos, who lives in South Campus, said he doesn’t typically shop at Marty’s because it’s far from where he lives.

‘I actually have been to liquor stores in Allston, and Blanchard’s would be the one I’d prefer to go first anyway,’ Caravanos said.

Blanchard’s Liquors manager Joe Gomes said it is hard to tell if Marty’s closure will have a positive impact on business.

‘There are a lot of little liquor stores in the area so maybe business will go there,’ Gomes said. ‘There’s a lot of competition.’

Staff reporter Annie Ropeik contributed reporting to this article.

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One Comment

  1. As Boston University students, we are disappointed to find an article on the mourning of a liquor store closing. This is not a relevant issue for BU students because the majority are not even of legal drinking age. Additionally, Marty’s isn’t the only liquor store available on Harvard Ave. nor is it the first place students choose to go for alcohol. The owner of Marty’s has admitted the Allston location does not bring in the bulk of their business.<p/>The closing of Marty’s Liquor store is not a devastating loss to the community and will not have any real impact on BU students. It is also embarrassing to think that BU students would be upset about having one less liquor to choose from in one of the largest cities in the country. We imagine this could possibly end up as being a misrepresentation to outsiders.<p/>In the future, we hope that you choose to cover topics that are actually newsworthy and relevant to Boston University students.