Thursday, August 30, 2007

Liquor Licenses

A few weeks ago I posted about The Cheesecake Factory in Peabody buying a liquor license for $135,000 because all of the licenses were sold out in Peabody. Today’s Boston Globe has an article about Woburn’s efforts to increase the number of liquor licenses it possesses. The article also discusses liquor license issues and statistics in other towns and cities.

One interesting tidbit is that the Trade Center 128, currently under construction, has potential plans to open a high-end steak house. No real details are given. Will this be one of the chains? And how will it fare against the Capital Grille in Burlington?

Woburn only has 40 all-alcohol liquor licenses and may seek an additional 10, though only to use for restaurants. What are their chances? Well, about eight towns and cities annually receive additional licenses. Though the article does not state how many actually petition for additional licenses. Curiously enough, Woburn only has all-alcohol licenses. They are not authorized for wine and beer only licenses. Medford and Burlington are also seeking additional licenses. Arlington can only have a limited number of all-alcohol licenses but unlimited wine and beer licenses.

What is fascinating is a partial list of cities and towns and their issues and available licenses. It certainly indicates areas where restaurants would have an easier time obtaining a liquor licenses, and not having to expend $100,000 or more for such.

Stoneham is listed and they have issued 16 all alcohol licenses and 0 wine & beer licenses. But they have available 7 all-alcohol and 5 wine & beer licenses. So, Stoneham could accommodate some additional restaurants. Reading also has a significant number of licenses available. Winchester on the other hand has also a few available. Towns such as Wakefield and Melrose are not listed in the article.

For many restaurants, a significant portion of their profits comes from alcohol sales so these licenses are very important to them.

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