Brookline Ponders Stricter Liquor Laws

The Brookline Tab reports that a series of updated alcohol regulations proposed by the Brookline Board of Selectmen’s licensing review committee would tighten up Brookline’s liquor laws.

If approved in their current form, the proposed regulations would reduce the number of drinks allowed without a meal, require employees to bring drinks to tables, and authorize the town to take neighborhood impact into consideration when considering whether to grant liquor licenses.

“I don’t see really very much radical change as a result of this,” said Selectmen Chairwoman Betsy DeWitt, who also co-chairs the licensing committee. [The regulations] simply say what we are not permitting in Brookline is bars.”

Patty Correa, associate town counsel, who will be in charge of presenting the committee’s proposal to the Board of Selectmen on July 26, told the Tab that many of the altered regulations were updated to reflect state laws that have changed since the current regulations were passed in 1990.

While the current regulations say customers have to order food if they want more than three drinks, the new regulations would reduce that number to two. And the proposed regulations define exactly what constitutes acceptable food. For instance, tapas or small plates would be acceptable, but chips would not.

Meanwhile, the new ability to turn down a license because of neighborhood concerns is part of an attempt to keep a finger on the pulse of a given community. For instance, if the town has received noise complaints about establishments in a particular neighborhood, they would be less likely to grant another license in the same vicinity, DeWitt said.
A public hearing is likely to occur in September.

On a related note, the town has acquired another full liquor license following the 2010 census. The latest license upped Brookline’s total to 63 full licenses, and 12 beer and wine licenses. The town now has a couple of licenses that are available.

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