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Selectmen Updated on Fogo de Chão Liquor License Transfer, Approve License for X-Golf Burlington

The Board of Selectmen were updated on one liquor license transfer and approved another during Monday night’s meeting.

Up first was the Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão which is in the process of opening in the renovated corridor in the Burlington Mall that used to be the Sears building. The restaurant is looking to have the all-alcohol formerly held by Besito’s transferred for its use.

Attorney Mark Vaughan of Riemer & Braunstein, representing both Simon Properties and Fogo de Chão, said the project had been long in the making and thanked the board, which has led an effort to get unused licenses back in circulation the last couple of years, for their patience.

“I assure you this is moving forward and they indicated they will be transmitting the transfer application very soon,” he said. “Fogo de Chão is certainly looking forward to being part of the Burlington restaurant scene. We appreciate the board’s patience, it’s been a trying and challenging year to say the least in terms of the restaurant industry and finally we’re at the point where we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

According to the restaurant, Fogo de Chão is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, specializing in fire-roasting high-quality meats using the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco. The restaurant will feature a wide variety of simply seasoned meats that are fire-roasted to expose their natural flavors. The new location will offer house specialties such as picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye and land chops, seasonal salads, soup, fresh vegetables and more. They are looking to open the location in the fall.

The board voted 5-0-0 to continue the public hearing to the meeting of May 24.

The business that was granted an all-alcohol license was X-Golf Burlington, a golf simulation business with a restaurant component that is working on opening in the former Chuck E. Cheese location at 10 Wall Street.

Vaughan, also representing this company, said that since the last meeting the franchise owner had met with the corporate owners to discuss a request by the board for some system to differentiate between alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages. He said one option they liked was to serve alcoholic beverages in glassware and non-alcoholic beverages in hard plastic cups.

“This is meant to provide more comfort that there is proper control and oversight,” he said. “This is something they take very seriously and they are committed to making sure this is run appropriately and they can properly control the service of alcohol.”

Selectman Bob Hogan, who made the initial request, said he was pleased with this suggestion.

“I’m thrilled that you support the idea of identifying the different types of drinks,” he said. “I’m in absolute support of this.”

During a previous meeting, Vaughan explained they are planning to have seven simulator bays with seating in each one and a restaurant-style seating area in the middle of the establishment. He said the golf simulators are state of the art and offer players the opportunity to play in real-life courses they see on television. There will also be a professional golfer on staff to provide lessons.

“This is a new and unique enterprise that is desirous of locating here in Burlington,” he said. It allows patrons to play some of the best golf courses in the world through a really neat system that is the highest of technology.”

This week members of the board said they were interested in the incoming business, which is hoping to open in September.

“This will be a good thing for the town,” Selectman Joe Morandi said. “People will enjoy it a lot and it will be a great family place.”

The board voted to transfer the liquor license with the caveat that when the professional golfer who will be on staff is working with clients in the simulators there be another employee designated as an assistant manager to control the environment and ensure all liquor laws are enforced.