Spirited Voices Over Liquor Store Application

The Planning and Zoning Commission Monday night will once again consider a controversial application opposed by a coalition of city liquor store operators who fear “a liquor store on every corner.” See agenda here.

Rich Augustynowicz, owner of Discount Wines & Liquors “BEV-MAX” on Wood Avenue, issued the following email blast to city officials in opposition to the proposal.

On Monday Jan. 30, at the zoning board hearing starting at 6:45PM, Attorney Charles Willinger is again proposing to eliminate the current zoning regulations as they pertain to liquor store locations within the City of Bridgeport.

The Office of Policy and Economic Developement (OPED) of the City of Bridgeport has declared that this is a major text amendment which does not improve Liquor Control Regulations. OPED says that Willinger’s proposals are vague and do not forward the standards which Willinger presents that they do.

I am a member of the Bridgeport Package Store Association, a loosely knit group which formed one year ago when this zoning amendment was first proposed. These proposals have changed numerous times and ARE NOT brought forward to better this City, its residents or its business community.

These proposals have been brought forward to benefit one single person (who has been called “politically connected”) that filed an application for a zoning variance to open a liquor store where one is not allowed. The variance was granted, the applicant was taken to Superior Court where the Judge denied the applicants license to do business stating that “the parade of preening politicians endorsing this application on April 14, 2015 may have had the unintended consequence of convincing the already cynical the ‘the fix was in’.” Almost 2 years ago!!

All this for one person’s benefit is not the way government is supposed to work.

We urge you to voice your opinion in this matter as it can negatively affect every neighborhood in this City if it is approved by Zoning.

I would advise those who plan on attending to follow up with zoning as Mr Willinger’s method of operation is to either defer or withdraw depending on the crowd or if he feels that he would not prevail on any particular hearing night. He has done this time and time again regarding this case.

Bridgeport has many many more important issues to deal with than to allow a liquor store on every corner.



  1. Paging Jeff, Ron, this is an important thread to your causes, in my opinion. I would say zoning has a direct impact on how Bridgeport is developed. Don’t you think?

    While the complaints against Maria are an issue and very entertaining subject on OIB, however these issues facing the board and its school system has been going on well before she ever entered the fray. Why the silence?

    Jeff, do you think liquor stores being able to be open on every corner in the city is sound judgement and development to lead Bridgeport out of its economic despair and poverty, inflicted by the Stamford/Greenwich Gold Coast?

    Ron, do you think the black communities and their people will make advancements if liquor stores were on every corner in their neighborhoods?

    Time has already told us. NO, it will not bring livable paying wages to Bridgeport residences or serve black communities or any other community well, when the salvation comes from the bottom of a bottle.

    To put this in perspective there was an uproar towards Maria over the kids having to walk to school from 1 mile to 1.5 miles, 8000 feet, a 15 to 20 minute walk for an education, and we are silently debating to cut down 1500 feet to 750 feet, a 5-minute walk to a 3-minute walk to drown out the despair Bridgeport and the black communities are facing, out of the neighborhoods. SMH.

    Your silence OIB, speaks volumes. Maybe Bridgeport’s package store savior will come in a form of a Home Depot-like store where they drive all the other mom and pop liquor stores on every corner out of the neighborhoods. I hear that law is up for change also. Will people drive an extra 5 minutes to save money on said bottle? Time as already told us that too. SMH.


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