The Watertown City Council last week officially approved the site plan and liquor license for a new liquor store that is expected to occupy a little more than half of the property at 300 Lewis Avenue S.
The property, which is connected to the Marketplace Foods grocery store, has been vacant since True Value Hardware closed at the end of December. Until that point, the building had house a hardware store since it opened in 1988.
The site plan calls for interior modifications that will include dividing the building into two separate retail spaces, but will not include any exterior changes. A site plan approval was required because of the proposed change of use of the building.
The off-sale liquor license was applied for by Watertown Liquors, LLC, doing business as Watertown Liquors. The partners in the corporation are Deepinder Baveja and Kamal Kaur, both of Victoria. The off-sale liquor license will be the fourth in Watertown, the maximum allowed by the municipal code. Neisen Liquors, Riverside Bar and Grill and the Luce Line Lodge hold the others.
Baveja also has an interest in Hi-5 Liquors in Victoria. At the time of his application to the city, he had a contract to buy the property at 300 Lewis Ave. S. from ML Bender Trust, contingent upon the approval the liquor license.
The liquor store will occupy the northern portion of the building, the part along Madison Avenue. The remaining portion of the building will be a separate tenant space that could be filled at a later date. Depending on the intended use of that space, the applicant may need to seek city approval for that space as well.
Baveja, who was present at the meeting, said possible future changes to the structure could include windows or doors on the southern part of the part of the building, depending on the needs of a future tenant.