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Martino Before Liquor Board Tonight for New License

Licensing Board members harshly criticized Frank Martino this summer for profiting from the sale of his liquor license and now seeking another one from the city for package store.

Frank Martino will be back before Peabody liquor authorities tonight to seek a new beer and wine license for his package store on Route 1 South.

Martino has sold his full liquor license to Trader Joe's, which will soon be stocking the shelves of its Peabody store with beer, wine and liquor, assuming the Licensing Board sees no reason to not approve the license transfer.

While board members have no problem with the Route 114 grocer selling alcohol, they do have a problem with Martino.

That's because he obtained a new license from the city last year -- the only remaining all-alcohol package store license the city held -- and then went and sold it for a locally record-setting price, $205,000, to Trader Joe's.

Martino will now be back before the board for a new license for Martino's Liquors.

The board does have the discretion to reject a license application on the grounds that it is not in the best interest of the community, but whether that would just end up in a legal appeal is another story.

If the board does approve the transfer to Trader Joe's -- the City Council granted a special permit allowing the store to sell alcohol last month -- and subsequently grants Martino the new license, he will have to remove some hard liquor, such as scotch and whiskey, from his package store.

Also on tap for the board Monday night is an official change of name for Luciano Dinis' new restaurant to Dinis Restaurant & Grill (6:30 p.m.)

Over at Carrabba's Italian Grill and the Outback Steakhouse there are a respective change of managers and the hearing for Trader Joe's are all scheduled for 6:45 p.m. The hearing for Martino is at 7:15 p.m.

Licensing Board meetings are held in the basement conference at City Hall and open to the public.

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