Bottles up - City gets state's first drive-up
by Linda Hersey, from The Current
Maine's first drive-up bottle redemption center and beverage outlet is about to open on Broadway in South Portland.
Tim and Trish Boutot of Cumberland just signed a lease with building owner Louis Maietta to operate Boots Bounty Discount Beverage and Redemption Center, across from J.P. Thornton's restaurant.
They plan to open Boots in early August. Construction workers were busy this week, preparing the building space.
The Boutots said customers will be able to redeem used bottles and buy beverages, cigarettes and lottery tickets at the same window.
"Moms can drive up, with the kids in back, and not get out of their car," Tim Boutot said. "They can drop off eight bags of empty bottles and also buy their Budweisers, cigarettes and lottery tickets. We will be a full-service operation."
"This will be a one-of-a-kind business, something brand-new for the area," said Maietta, noting that there are drive-up retail beverage outlets in Florida but nothing similar to this in Maine.
Boots Bounty plans to sell wine, beer, soda and bottled water but eventually be licensed to sell hard liquor as well, Boutot said.
The business has received a retailer's license from the city, and is in the process of getting an occupancy certificate, Boutot said.
Maietta said the building is in the Limited Business/Commercial zone, which allows for drive-up windows. He described the new business as a change of use that does not require Planning Board review.
He said there will be no microphones or speakers at the windows, which could be disruptive to the neighborhood.
A garden center had occupied the building for several years but closed two years ago. This spring, the South Portland Flea Market started operating in the front portion of the building. The flea market will continue to operate in the near future.
Planning Director Tex Haeuser said Monday he is still learning about the proposal and reviewing it.
Tim Boutot said a large carport will be installed to protect vehicles and drivers pulling up to one of two 6-foot-long service windows. The drive-through operation will be located off of Buttonwood Street [...]
Sincerely, Boot's Bounty