Whately Diner applies for beer, wine license

WHATELY — Beer and wine at the Fillin’ Station is back on the agenda.

F.L. Roberts & Co., owner of the truck stop diner off Routes 5 and 10 near Interstate 91, popularly known as the Whately Diner, has applied for an annual wine and malt restaurant license from the town.

The Whately Board of Selectmen, the licensing authority, is holding a public hearing on the application on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. in the Center School.

The State Road diner originally submitted an application for a liquor license in the fall, but withdrew it to gather more information. Roberts has owned the truck stop since the 1970s, along with similar diners and gas stations across the country. The company said it first sought a liquor license in response to customer requests.

Vice President of Operations Richard Smith could not be reached for comment for this story Friday.

At a public hearing for that first application in September, residents and fire officials questioned how allowing a truck stop to sell alcohol would impact public safety.

Smith previously stated that drinking and driving is not a concern.

“I would hope if someone is driving a truck they wouldn’t drink and drive no matter where they stop, whether it’s a diner, a bar or a liquor store,” Smith said. “A lot of drivers do spend nights here in their trucks.”

The town is allowed to have five beer and wine restaurant licenses.

Currently, the town has two package stores and two establishments, the Whately Inn and the Castaway Lounge, serving alcohol with an all-alcohol license. The town can have up to 14 all-alcohol licenses and three packages store licenses.

In 1960, the Whately Diner was built in Chicopee by the Kullman Co. of New Jersey, where it was known as the Princess Diner. In the early 1970s, Roberts purchased the diner, which was known as the “Maverick” and moved it to its current location at 372 State Road.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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