The owners of 7-Eleven in Watertown Square told the Licensing Board they wanted to boost their business by staying open 24 hours a day, but the board rejected the application Thursday night saying that the area already has enough 24-hour businesses.
The store at 3 Mt. Auburn Street opened in August 2011, and has struggled, said Rick Mann, the attorney for the property owner.
"(Business) has not been overwhelming. It is lower than expected," Mann said. "We attribute part of that to not having 24 hour operation."
Extending the hours would mean hiring two more employees and neighbors supported the idea, Mann said.
"We had 100 people sign a petition to ask that the store be open 24 hours, including 12 business owners from the area," Mann said. "The condo association which abuts the plaza, submitted a letter in which they write in favor of the 24 hour application submitted by 7-Eleven."
The board, however said the Watertown Square area already has enough 24 hour businesses, including CVS at 27 Main Street, and the Tedeschi's Food Shop at 164 Main Street.
Licensing Board member Robert Whitney said he made the vote with mixed feelings, but he said he would go along with the Police Department's assessment that having the store open 24 hours would not benefit the residents of the area and Watertown with other 24-hours options nearby.
Licensing Board Chairwoman Donna Doucette agreed.
"I have a feeling of ambiguity. I prefer this 24 hour site to others, however Watertown is only 4 square miles (in area) and it would be easy to cover the town with 24-hour stores," Doucette said.
The Licensing Board voted 3-0 to deny the 24 hour operations application.