A bill in the legislature would give Boston new liquor licenses to dole out, - 55 for a wide swath of Boston business districts and 75 specifically for areas that have had trouble getting them - but also a whole series of other parts of the city.
Although the measure seeks to improve the odds of small entrepreneurs in areas such as Dorchester, Roxbury and Hyde Park of getting one of the licenses, the proposed law would also let the Boston Licensing Board award licenses in areas such as the South Boston waterfront - where national chains have been busy snapping up liquor licenses from the very neighborhoods the bill purports to help.
This is because the law says 55 of the new licenses -- 25 for all alcohol, the rest for beer and wine - can be granted in "main street districts, urban renewal areas, empowerment zones or municipal harbor plan areas."
In 2000, the BRA designated the South Boston waterfront as a "municipal harbor plan area."
The BRA is currently working on a similar plan for the waterfront along the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
Another 75 licenses would be set aside specifically for "Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill and Roxbury" as well as "areas designated by the Boston Redevelopment Authority as main street districts." These districts include Roslindale Square and Centre Street in West Roxbury. The licenses would become available in batches of 25 over a three year period.
The proposed law, however, would bar the licenses from being transferred out of the neighborhoods in which they're granted.