Nearly 50 years after it was founded on converted farmland off West Street, Normandy Farms Campground will be able to sell beer and wine to its patrons.
Selectmen Tuesday night unanimously approved a package store license allowing the upscale camping resort to sell beer and wine at a small store located inside the main office/reception area.
According to manager Kristine Daniels, the Daniels family, which owns and operates the campground, had initially explored the prospect of alcohol sales in 2016 as a convenience to guests — many of whom arrive in expansive RV-style motor homes.
Once sited, she added, it can be burdensome to pack up and move these large rigs for a minor shopping trip.
“We’re happy we can provide this for our guests,” Daniels said.
Supported by a large contingent of family members and neighbors, Daniels explained the campground store currently has five refrigeration units — two or three of which will be dedicated to beer & wine sales going forward.
Located outside the campground gates, the store is open to the public as well as guests at Normandy Farms.
“Everyone in the neighborhood is for it,” declared Earle Ferguson of West Street, a longtime neighbor of the campground.
That sentiment apparently extended to members of the board of selectmen.
Freshman board member Edward O’Leary, who noted he was known for an “anti-alcohol” agenda during his years as police chief, nonetheless embraced the proposal.
“I think the family has shown through long years of experience they will run [alcohol sales] like the rest of their operation,” O’Leary said.
Selectwoman Leah Gibson, who formerly worked at the campground, concurred.
“Never have I seen a business that operates with such high standards and integrity,” said Gibson.
The property off West Street has been in the Daniels family since 1759, when Francis Daniels, a former French army officer, acquired 53 acres in what was then part of Wrentham.
Upon his death, Daniels was buried in the small central cemetery in downtown Foxboro which later became the site of Memorial Hall. When Central Street was widened over a century later his remains were relocated to Rockhill Cemetery.
Over the years, subsequent generations refocused the family enterprise from a dairy farm to chickens to sheep, before Albert Daniels established the campground business in 1971.
Restaurant wins liquor license
In a separate alcohol-related matter, selectmen swiftly granted an all-alcohol pouring license to the owner of Conrad’s Restaurant, which will be opening a new location at the Chestnut Green plaza on Main Street later this fall.
Appearing before selectmen, owner Robert Conrad of Walpole provided a brief overview of his business, which operates restaurants in Walpole and Sudbury in addition to the original Norwood site.
Conrad said the Foxboro location will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with no entertainment at night. Renovations will include reducing the size of the existing bar and installing TV s at each booth.
“We’re actually more of a restaurant than a barroom,” he explained.
Conrad said he was approached by the plaza’s management company seeking to lease space formerly occupied by Waxy O’Connor’s Irish Pub.
That space became available after the Irish pub chain was ordered closed for health code violations following a Dec. 26 inspection, then opted against making the necessary investment to rectify the deficiencies and reopen the business.
In response to a question from selectman Edward O’Leary, Conrad stated that none of his restaurants has experienced an alcohol violation in over 15 years.
“Very impressive,” O’Leary replied.
In addition to the all-alcohol license, selectmen also approved a common victualer’s and 7-day entertainment licenses.
Conrad said he still needs to obtain necessary food service permits from the board of health.