State cap on alcohol licenses for restaurants looks to be rescinded

SterlingsToday, At-Large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, filed a home rule petition to eliminate Massachusetts cap on alcohol licenses for restaurants.  

Currently, new licenses issued cannot be transferred and must return to the City if the restaurant is closing but it will grandfather existing licenses so that current owners may retain the ability to sell their license in the future if they choose. Lastly, this home rule will close the loophole that ties a license to a location rather than a business.

“The time for legislative action is now; cities should have control over the alcohol licensing process,” Pressley said. “It’s time for us, not the state, to determine how to economically revitalize our neighborhoods.” 

To this I can only say”Amen”.  Previous efforts to increase the number of licenses under the cap have failed.  This is the first time I’ve read about anyone trying to remove the cap.

Next Steps: The petition must be voted on by the City Council where it will hopefully pass and be signed by the Mayor.  Following that, both the State Senate and House will need to vote before being signed by the Governor.

Fingers Crossed.

For more information: Jessica Taubner (617) 635-4217

3 responses to “State cap on alcohol licenses for restaurants looks to be rescinded

  1. Is this cap a Boston city cap? I live in Provincetown where we have the highest number, of per capita, liquor licenses in MA. Of course, the per capita figure is based on the winter population not the tourist season count.
    When my friend’s eatery was denied a license we were told that there was no cap, but the local licensing board was concerned with the number of drinking establishments. My friend appealed to Boston, & with the help of an expensive attorney, won the appeal. Then went back locally & got a provisional liquor license for the dessert eatery.


  2. They just eased off on licenses in Providence, RI a few years ago. Lot more places serve liquor. Within a half mile of me I have 4 bars, 3 liquor stores.



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