Six applications will be considered for the three available liquor licenses at the public hearing held on August 2 at the Board of Selectmen meeting at Town Hall.
According to Town Clerk Joe Collins, four of the six applicants have beer and wine licenses, and are looking to upgrade to a full alcohol permit. I Pazzi, Nine Elm, Hong Kong Cafe, and Sawasdee Danvers are the four restaurants that presently hold the license limited to beer and wine.
Andy's Sunnyside Bowladrom, an entity that currently does not sell alcohol, beer and wine, has also applied for a license. If selected to receive one of the three, they have expressed that they will create a lounge area in an already designated spot in the building.
The sixth applicant, Oye's, is proposing an Asian fusion restaurant to be located in the same building as Grassfields on Route 114. Oye's currently has one other location in Reading and has a lease agreement pending the license outcome.
At the public hearing for the proposals on August 2, each applicant will make a presentation and answer questions from the board. Collins said the board can either take it under advisement or vote to issue one, two, three, or none of licenses that night. Both he and Town Manager Wayne Marquis noted that the Board of Selectmen do not necessarily have to award any licenses.
In accordance with the Chapter 138 requirements of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Controls Commission (ABCC), the applicants' information will be publicly advertised before the hearing and they must send copies of the advertisement to their immediate property owners.
Both Collins and Marquis said they do not believe they have ever seen a situation where there were three available all alcohol licenses at the same time.
Collins said when awarding licenses, "one of the underlying facts that [the board] has to take into consideration is where the public good would best be served."
If the board was to approve an all alcohol license for one of the entities that already has a beer and wine license, that license would be returned for town use. Sawasdee Danvers is the only exception to that because they received their license by a special act of the legislature and can only be exercised in that specific location.