Craft Beer Cellar Framingham Suing To Prevent New CBC in Sudbury

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by ommegoodness, Mar 10, 2016.

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  1. ommegoodness

    ommegoodness Initiate (0) Apr 21, 2010 Massachusetts

    I just received notice of a new case filed in Middlesex Superior Court on Tuesday 3/8 wherein CBC-Framingham, LLC is seeking to enjoin Craft Beer Stellar, LLC from permitting a new CBC franchise (Villa TBR Corp.) to open up in Sudbury at a location they allege to be within their 5 mile radius of exclusivity. Docket number 1681CV00670 for anyone who wants to follow.
    benzalman likes this.
  2. DirtWolfof369

    DirtWolfof369 Initiate (0) Apr 21, 2014 Massachusetts

    I don't know why they bother? Seems like a new CBC is opening up everywhere in Massachusetts.
  3. emannths

    emannths Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    What's at question? Whether it's in the 5-mile radius, or whether they have an exclusive right to that radius?
  4. Aaron58

    Aaron58 Initiate (184) Dec 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    According to google maps, they are at least 5.7 miles from each other, driving distance at least.

    I would assume in the CBC Franchise model, they are granted a 5 mile radius of exclusivity from other CBC franchises?
  5. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,406) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    Distance is probably 4.25/4.5 but unless you're a bird, yeah it's at least a 5.5 mile drive
    Aaron58 likes this.
  6. ommegoodness

    ommegoodness Initiate (0) Apr 21, 2010 Massachusetts

    Yeah, the complaint just says their franchise agreement gives them a 5 mile radius territory and that the new store would be within that distance as the crow flies. Presumably one defense is that it is outside the 5 mile radius by any conceivable route, but I have no idea how that provision of the contract should be construed.
    SveNss0N likes this.
  7. Aaron58

    Aaron58 Initiate (184) Dec 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    Sounds like an interesting case actually. Thanks for the info!
  8. bostonwolf

    bostonwolf Initiate (127) Jan 20, 2015 Massachusetts

    If it says radius in the contract as opposed to driving miles, they probably are going to win and the Sudbury store will have to move outside that radius
  9. noob

    noob Initiate (152) Jan 23, 2004 Massachusetts

    I wonder why someone would want to open another CBC so close the Framingham store. I honestly can't imagine the area supporting two locations so close to each other.
    Auror likes this.
  10. frekky

    frekky Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2015 Massachusetts

    Interesting. I questioned the closeness of the Sudbury locale. Seems cannibalistic to me.
    I happen to live about halfway between CBC Framingham & the proposed Sudbury spot and was kinda looking forward to a CBC available on either route I commute home. Oh well.
  11. seanwhite

    seanwhite Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2008 Massachusetts

    Because of the mess that is driving from Sudbury to Framingham. Route 9/20/30/27/126 can all have hectic amounts of traffic and 5 miles can be a very time consuming drive.
    TheMattJones88 likes this.
  12. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (373) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    5 miles is sort of silly to have as a standard. 5 miles in Brookline/Allston/Brighton sure means something different than it does in Sudbury
  13. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (373) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    CBC always seemed like they were loopholing the system by figuring out a way around the MA alcohol regulations (that you can't own more than X stores). Good for them, I support ingenuity. But figured something like this would eventually happen
  14. ErrandWolfe

    ErrandWolfe Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2011 Maine

    CBC is quickly becoming the Starbucks of craft beer retailers (or rather Dunkin Donuts here in NE). You see one on every street corner, it seems! I still can't believe they opened one up here in Gardiner, ME.
    pburland23, hopley and SveNss0N like this.
  15. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (472) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Same here - actually I'm closer to the Sudbury one, but I don't go that way all that often, and I pass by Framingham on the way home. I'd probably go to both but more often Framingham.
  16. frekky

    frekky Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2015 Massachusetts

    I am actually 2 miles closer to the Sudbury one, but I work at home a few days a week and traffic is about the same
    in the middle of the day. On the days I am in the office I often end up taking backroads to rt. 20 to get home as it can save 10-20 min on some dayss, a CBC right on the way would be great!

    I suspect the franchise owner of the Sudbury location will end up finding a suitable space .3 miles or more away.
    JrGtr likes this.
  17. Brad007

    Brad007 Poo-Bah (4,011) Mar 28, 2007 Vermont

    I didn't even know about their location in Waterbury, VT. I assume it's the same company?
  18. mrl491

    mrl491 Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2015 New Hampshire

    They're franchises.
  19. MenardMa

    MenardMa Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut

    I thought the company selling franchises controlled this stuff...weird that they would allow it. I used to do a lot of business with edible arrangements and the stores would each have their zip code and every zip code touching theirs as their guaranteed territory and no one else could open up shop in that zone.

    I did see a couple cases however where they were putting one JUST outside of the territory and there were some issues over possibly splitting certain ZIPs. This is a little different though I guess since it's not a delivery business. Who knows.
  20. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (472) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    So I see on Facebook that CBC Sudbury opened today. Interestingly, I had a few minutes on my way home from work so I stopped in at CBC Framingham. I do plan to hit Sudbury probably this weekend, if I get a minute...
    I guess the suit didn't go anywhere.
  21. hopley

    hopley Poo-Bah (1,851) Feb 24, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Seems to me that CBC should be revisiting their choice of legal counsel - any retail operation that operates in a large metropolitan area, or even New England for that matter, should have specified driving distance vs. "as the crow flies" vs. zip code, etc. clearly stated in their franchise agreements. Or alternatively, the new Sudbury owners should be either kicking themselves for not doing this research prior to investing in a new franchise, or revisiting their own choice of counsel. Either way, Framingham seems to have a good case and the final outcome should be interesting to follow.
  22. frekky

    frekky Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2015 Massachusetts

    Store in Sudbury is definitely NOT a CBC anymore. I saw the CBC signage up at open, and for a few weeks then all of it disappeared. Inside the shop which is now called Sudbury Craft Beer looked pretty much like every CBC i've been too, with a slightly smaller selection. Owner mentioned they were expanding to have more wine options as well.
  23. Skwalk47

    Skwalk47 Initiate (0) Aug 31, 2010 Massachusetts

    Winchester has to be right on the edge of that radius, maybe they didnt have that agreement but I would imagine its inside 5 miles as the crow flies (5.2 on google maps driving). I have to say, I like the guys at the Winchester store but their selection is really weak. Honestly most liquor stores in the area have at least as good of a selection and aren't poached nearly as quickly by fellow beer nerds.
  24. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    ^^^ I think the Winchester store is small, but has good stock and options. So you found, Santilli, Trillium and Rodenbach Alexander at local stores? Plus it's on my commute home. YRMV.
  25. messrock

    messrock Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2010 Massachusetts

    The Winchester store isn't a franchise. Was opened as a satellite shop focused on New England breweries before the whole "franchise" model kicked off. Apparently they abandoned the NE only thing at some point.
  26. SuzanneS

    SuzanneS Initiate (0) May 5, 2004 Massachusetts

    CBC Winchester is a Franchise. Kate & I sold it in November of 2014, as we realized that we would never be able to be present, working owners, like we are in Belmont, The Flagship Store! There is not a standard radius, as much of it is driven by population density, but in the case of Winchester, their radius includes all of Winchester.

    Thanks MessRock, you're exactly correct. Winchester opened in July 2013 and when it opened is was named, "Craft Beer Cellar New England Annex"! We abandoned the notion of all New England beers about four months in, as it was a concept that turned out to be a couple of years before it's time; we became "Craft Beer Cellar Winchester" by holiday 2013 and still going strong. We focus on 250 - 300 of the best beers we can get our hands. Derek Russell is the full time Beer Geek over there, Certified Cicerone® and been working at the store since the beginning. I recommend stopping in a talking with him - he's passionate and pretty deep in this industry; if he doesn't have it, he'll order it for you! Also kudos to new franchise owners, David & Amanda Leshowitz, as well as the new crew they've brought on to support Derek: Rich & Erik!
  27. cappy201

    cappy201 Initiate (117) Mar 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    According to the court's on-line docket, the court granted a preliminary injunction on April 6. Here is the punch-line:

    04/06/2016 MEMORANDUM & ORDER: MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON CBC-FRAMINGHAM, LLC'S MOTION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF: ORDER: For the foregoing reasons, CBC-Framingham's Motion for Preliminary Injunction is ALLOWED. It is hereby ORDERED that upon the posting of security in a manner satisfactory to the Court in the amount of $200,000.00, defendants CBS and Villa are enjoined and restrained from operating a Craft Beer Cellar Store within five-mile radius of CBC-Framingham's Craft Beer Cellar store pending final adjudication of this action or further action of this Court. The five-mile radius shall be measured as a straight line from CBC-Framingham's store. CBS is further enjoined and restrained from terminating CBC-Framingham's Franchise Agreement pending final adjudication of this action or further action of this Court. (See scanned image-15 pages). Dated: March 31, 2016. Certified copy given in hand and copy mailed 4/6/16.
  28. pburland23

    pburland23 Initiate (0) Jun 23, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Wait? They opened a CBC in Gardiner?!?! Well, this makes trips to visit the in-laws in Waterville more enjoyable.
  29. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (472) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    So I'm wondering if Sudbury is now not officially part of the CBC family? or are they, and had to change the name to satisfy the letter of the law?
    Are the locations vetted at CBC headquarters (whoever handles franchising) to make sure they don't run into this situation? and where was the foul-up?
    I'm still living less than a mile and a half from Sudbury, and pass the 'Hammer on the way home from work, so they will both have my business, but I'm curious.
  30. seanwhite

    seanwhite Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2008 Massachusetts

    So the memorandum and order sounds like Craft Beer Cellar (I assume CBS is the master entity) tried to force CBC framingham to close or stop using the name because framingham cbc wanted to enforce the exclusivity radius?
  31. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    Why put one in Sudbury anyway? There are lots of places that would embrace one along the 495 corridor (Franklin, Milford, Foxborough, Plainville...) without much similar competition. Hell, one in Patriot Place would be mobbed all the time.
  32. Auror

    Auror Defender (623) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts

    I think the line you are referring to means they can't revenge-terminate, CBS and Sudbury were named as the defendants. No indication of intent, just a protection for Framingham.
  33. seanwhite

    seanwhite Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2008 Massachusetts

    Ok, not a legal expert by any means. I understand what you are saying.
  34. cappy201

    cappy201 Initiate (117) Mar 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    The way I read the court's decision, CBC-Framingham convinced the court to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the defendants -- Craft Beer Stellar, LLC and Villa TBR Corp. -- from opening a CBC within five-mile radius of CBC-Framingham's Craft Beer Cellar store (pending final adjudication of the lawsuit or further action of the Court).
    HuskyHawk likes this.
  35. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,406) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    What happens if they don't put up the $200,000? Framingham wins without having to go any farther?
  36. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    There are like less than 50 in the whole US. In my town of 30,000, we have a Starbucks and 6 DD's. Too much good beer is a bad thing?
  37. cappy201

    cappy201 Initiate (117) Mar 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    They put up the $200K according to the court docket.
    mschofield likes this.
  38. SveNss0N

    SveNss0N Disciple (347) Feb 16, 2014 Massachusetts

    What's the latest on this? Haven't heard much in a while
  39. soheadyithurts

    soheadyithurts Initiate (122) Jan 4, 2013 Massachusetts

    CBC Sudbury was renamed to Craft Beer Sudbury the "problem's" been solved for 6+mo. Craft Beer Sudbury is a great stop along rte 20 and the owner Gustavo has a been extremely helpful every time I've been in.
    SveNss0N and TheMattJones88 like this.
  40. Villatorojess

    Villatorojess Initiate (0) Oct 18, 2017

    We (I'm Jessie and my husband, Gustavo runs Sudbury Craft Beer) actually had to go to arbitration with Craft Beer Cellar (franchise owners) and we won...they were found liable of 93a, unfair and deceptive business practices...our damages and attorneys fees award was confirmed by the Middlesex Superior Court...but Craft Beer Cellar is dragging it out by filing erroneous motions, one after the next. We have been extremely grateful for all the support and have the best customers around!!
    SveNss0N, Trull, PhilDicarlo and 2 others like this.
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