August 17 2016
Selectmen Vote to Support Request for 8 New Liquor Licenses
By: Rich Hosford
The Board of Selectmen voted in favor of including a warrant article in the September Town Meeting that would give the town permission to seek eight additional liquor licenses from the state.
The licenses, which would be six for all alcohol and two beer and wine, would be dedicated to the Town Center/Route 3A Overlay District. The district is largely comprised of Cambridge Street from roughly the high school to near the Billerica line.
Town Administrator John Petrin said the new licenses would help support smaller, family owned businesses.
“What we’ve seen is bigger restaurants buying out the liquor licenses of smaller ones,” he said, adding that it was less likely big restaurants would find a place in that area of town.
Members of the board supported the proposal.
“The thing to emphasize with this is that the goal is to bring to fruition what people wanted to see since the establishment of the 3A Overlay District,” Selectman Chris Hartling said. “The emphasis would be on smaller, bistro-style restaurants. We’re trying to have area where people can have a meal and walk around, a place where people go to socialize in an area that’s within an enhanced area of design.”
The licenses would be dedicated to the district and therefor could be transferred to businesses within it but not moved to any other part of town.
The board voted 5-0-0 to approve the warrant article for the September Town Meeting. If that body votes in favor the town will then petition the state legislature for approval of the licenses.