Neighbors resist Youngstown store’s push for liquor license

Market Street Express got the required 25 signatures for a petition to let voters decide, but it's still going to be a tough sell

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Market Street Express, a store at the intersection with Avondale Avenue, is asking permission to sell beer and wine seven days a week.

It would become the third place selling alcohol within 100 yards.

A liquor license issue will be on the ballot in Youngstown, but it would only affect one precinct.

“They had already petitioned the City of Youngstown. They filed an appeal asking for a waiver and that was denied,” said Councilwoman Anita Davis.

Market Street Express got the required 25 signatures for a petition to let voters decide, but it’s still going to be a tough sell.

“I’m against it. We got too many liquor stores around here already, we don’t need more. That’s just going to cause more problems,” said Marcel Boatwright, who lives nearby.

Everybody knows the owner of the store as Bobby. He owns the Shell station, Southside Mart and just took over Market Street Express last week.

He says the previous owner applied for the license. Even though Bobby plans to close the Southside Mart, that liquor license can’t be transferred.

“This does not go through and enhance our neighborhoods. Instead, makes our neighborhood look like skid row,” Davis said.

That neighborhood feel is important for Priscilla Baldwin and Judy Franklin, two sisters who are overseeing a painter working on their father’s house.

“He’s fixing up his house. He lives here. I think a liquor license around the corner would be a bit much, we have plenty,” Baldwin said. “We don’t want a liquor neighborhood. We want a neighborhood, a good neighborhood.”

Franklin also says there are enough liquor stores in the area.

“Let him keep going on what he got going on in there. People will appreciate what you got going on there, you don’t need no liquor. We got more liquor stores already.”

The store owner said the Shell station has already worked with the city to stay open longer hours, hoping to reduce crime that was happening when the store would close overnight.