1.) HOW WE GOT HERE: In April, Arlington voters via a ballot question, 3,958-2,648. Then, on Monday, June 18, the Board of Selectmen from . The board’s first selection, , was made with relative ease, but then the Mystic Wine Shoppe and proposals were in a dead heat, until Johnnie’s President John DeJesus . “I’d like to withdraw my application,” he said after more than three hours of presentations and deliberations. “I’m a small business owner too, and I think they made a great presentation … I’m stuttering here, I can’t believe I’m doing this.” And with that, the board granted Mystic Wine Shoppe the second license in a unanimous vote.
2.) THE BASICS: Eric Faiola, who owns and operates with his brother Jake, is the man behind Mystic Wine Shoppe. The brothers’ grandfather and his two brothers opened the local printing company nearly 50 years ago, in 1963, before passing it down. Faiola’s new venture is going in next to the family business at 901 Massachusetts Ave., the vacant storefront to the right of . The space has been empty for about a decade.
3.) TIMEFRAME: Before construction can begin, Faiola’s application still needs to be OK’d by the state Alcohol Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), a process that usually takes four to eight weeks. After that, Faiola plans to makeover the front of the store and gut the inside. He’s hoping to open Mystic Wine Shoppe by the end of September or beginning of October.
4.) THE “ANTI-LIQUOR STORE:” “I don’t want to have a liquor-store connotation,” Faiola said. “It’s a wine shop.” However, he added that the store will have a wide selection of wine, beer and spirits. Faiola has Michael Woodward in place to manage the store. Woodward, who has been in the business for more than 35 years, has owned liquor stores in Burlington, at 85 Wilmington Road and 69 Middlesex Turnpike (where the Dunkin’ Donuts is now), and Lexington, at 60 Bedford St. (next to Walgreens).
5.) COMMUNITY FIRST: If everything goes according to plan, Mystic Wine Shoppe will occasionally partner with local restaurants for food and wine pairings in the store, Faiola said. There might also be a small art gallery in the store for a local artist to display his or her work for a time and then have a meet-the-artist/wine-tasting event, he said. “Being a part of the community is important,” Faiola said. “That’s what I want to do.”