Councilor wants 12 new liquor licenses just for Dudley Square

City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) says a liquor-license vacuum caused by national chains sucking up liquor licenses for downtown and waterfront restaurants will hinder redevelopment of Dudley Square.

Tomorrow, Jackson asks the city council to start work on a proposed petition to the state legislature to give Boston 12 new liquor licenses for the area bounded by Tremont Street, Melnea Cass Boulevard, Harrison Avenue, and Dudley Street/Malcolm X Boulevard.

Jackson says restaurants with liquor licenses can help make a commercial area thrive. But with a state-imposed quota on the number of licenses in Boston meaning a price of $325,000 or more on the open market for all-liquor licenses, it will be hard for mom-and-pop restaurants to serve the liquids their customers would demand, he says.

Dudley Square, he says, is on the verge of something good, with a new School Department headquarters and other planned city improvements in the works.

Jackson's proposal would call for six new all-alcohol licenses and six beer-and-wine licenses. Unlike most of the city's other liquor licenses, which can be used anywhere with approval from the Boston Licensing Board, these would only be doled out to restaurants in the Dudley Square area.

The entire council tomorrow decides whether to order a hearing on Jackson's proposal - the first step in preparing a submission to the legislature.

Separately, City Councilor Ayanna Pressley (at large) continues to push for state legislation to increase the overall number of liquor licenses in Boston.



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PDF icon Jackson's Dudley proposal153.8 KB


Definitely can't argue with

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Definitely can't argue with that. Dudley Square really needs at least one solid restaurant. It's all trashy pizza and chinese food joints - no real solid sit-down places to eat outside of a limited breakfast selection. Hell, even the one bar in the area is some trashy strip joint that MUST be a front for something (Aga's)... I see zero foot traffic around that place, how has it been around for so long?

Aga's ( short for Agamemnon

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Aga's ( short for Agamemnon , who I believe is now deceased ,brother of Gigi ) was formerly the Highland Tap, probably from forever. Other joints of notoriety were the Patio lounge and the Party Lounge, which kinda boxed in Dudley station.A few others close by as well , plenty of drinking and other nefarious things , proceed at own risk!

waste of time

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why would jackson make this proposal when the councilor pressly is trying to get rid of the whole cap? shouldn't they just focus on that? sounds like he doesnt have enough stuff in his district to worry about. oh wait....

Haley House?

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Anyone here ever actually go to Dudley? Haley House has good food and serves beer and wine. Evening events as well -- movie nights, talks, art openings, etc...

Heard that Eddie's no goat for you! And then there's Joe's....and uh.... and....Arizona's....uhm....and then you make the hike to Flour and get a frou-frou sandwich.

Yeah...Dudley could use another decent restaurant. And although at face value Dudley looks like the same old same old (excepting the Ferdinand Bldg), under the surface the gentrifying engine is revving up. By the time Paul McMorrow is writing about it (today's Glob) it's already a done deal. Dudley will take longer than Union Square cuz y''s Boston. Everything takes longer.

Unfortunately I have a hard

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Unfortunately I have a hard time believing most of the city council giving a crap about Roxbury.

Maybe to get away from the

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Maybe to get away from the same old, same old ignorant fools who bash other neighborhoods thinking it makes theirs look better. Roxbury has a lot of potential to offer more good eats and extend their arts & culture exhibits to showcase the diversity and let people look, listen and learn. Probably not the kind of stuff you'd like, "Hyde Parker", so stay home...don't worry about it HP dude! I remember when I lived in JP, Roslindale, and HP during college...real shit holes for any culture or good eats by my estimation...but they grew over the years and now they, too have a lot to offer. Live & let live...don't be a hater! ;)~


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Then they won't even blink when it comes up... Passed! Next...

With all the troubles in

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With all the troubles in Boston, this guys wants to spend time and money on bringing in more bars. Doesn't he have something better to do? Don't get me wrong. I really loved the Jackson 5.

Lose-Lose actually...

If the place does really well and makes a ton of money it means gentrification has occurred and people can no longer afford to live in the place they grew up.

If the place does poorly and there are weekly reports of fights, guns, drugs, and means the community is being exploited. (You don't see 10 bars and 15 packies on Washington St. in Weston do ya?!?)

Harvard Square

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Yes, places can have tons of places serving alcohol and be a highly desirable area. You've heard of Harvard Square? Just to name one place off the top of my head.

It would be gentrification if people came in with no connection to the community and opened businesses that appeal mainly to people who are not part of the community. People within the community opening businesses that appeal to the community is not gentrification and does not lead to rental rates soaring.

Not always though...

If a poor/undesirable place to live suddenly becomes a wealthy/desirable place to live, people for the outside will spend money to live in the new desirable place.

Plus, this proposal doesn't stop the rich surburbanite with no city ties from getting a license and opening a top notch jazz club bistro in Dudley square does it?

For the record, I think it's a great idea, I'm kind of playing devils advocate here.

I mean, once you get some nice restaurants, what's next? Bike lanes?! God forbid a dog park!?

there was a nice place in the

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there was a nice place in the area , kinda , Simco's . It still there , different management , try going there after dusk..........

Wellesley vs. Weston

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I believe you are referring to Washington St (Rt 16) in Wellesley.
I don't even think there are any standalone bars in Wellesley anymore
although I wouldn't doubt there were at one time.

Their best song -

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"one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch girl..."

Win, win, win. The state gets

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Win, win, win. The state gets revenue from the licenses, the small businesses get to have the same advantages that the big chains that have been buying all the liquor licenses have so they can compete, and residents and workers in the area get more places to eat and drink.

Better idea

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Instead of asking for the right to increase the number of available licenses, let's go one better and just eliminate this pointless system that places an arbitrary limit on liquor licenses altogether.

" doled out"

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I hope he doesn't mean FREE.

Regulatory Capture

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What's the point of supporting a secondary market for liquor licenses? If we want to limit the number of licenses in circulation, we should sell them at auction for a limited time. We're long overdue for scrapping the entire licensing scheme.

Why do we even need to limit the number

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of licenses in circulation to begin with? If you want to sell liquor, and meet all the necessary health and other requirements (background check, etc.), any business should be able to do so.

Because this is Massachusetts Roadman!!!!

The state will tell you what you can or cannot do, and then they will tell you when you can do them.

But seriously, I think in theory it is a good thing in many areas. Communities might suffer if any person could set up a few kegs and taps in an empty storefront and just sell alcohol.

But I agree, the system needs to be changed to at least some sort of common sense model.

Suffer from what?

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Communities might suffer if any person could set up a few kegs and taps in an empty storefront and just sell alcohol.

Too much sales tax revenue? An overabundance of licensing fee money? Too many small business owners able to afford living in their own neighborhoods?

I'm saying if you took the state out of it.....

Which would mean no expensive fees or regulations. The crappiest parts of America are places that have numerous dive bars per capita.

Ever been to Columbus, Georgia? Or Tijuana? Zero regulation there.

Sure, expensive fees and taxes are good for the economy, but you won't find your average Roxbury resident opening up bars if you have that.

I wasn't stating or implying

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that we should have NO regulations regarding the selling of alcohol. But this insanity of "you can issue no more than X licenses in a given neighborhood/community" serves no legitimate purpose.

New restaurants for the

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New restaurants for the Dudley Triangle. On your way in just step over the drunks, weave around the panhandlers, and turn a blind eye to the gang members dealing drugs. Cops in the area that do their job get complaints against them 1) By low lifes not wanting their way of life inconvenienced. Although, that may have lessened since Chuck Turner's office is no longer there to help support this behavior. 2) Because "Dudley's always been this way, who the hell are you to change it?!!".


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I've been in Roslindale long enough to remember when Roslindale Square was a desolate, empty area with a large hole in the middle (although by the time we moved in, it no longer had a reputation for being unsafe at night). There's no reason Dudley Square can't come back as well - unless we decide to wall off the area like some Snake Plissken-like area. Maybe liquor licenses aren't the answer (although a vibrant nightlife couldn't hurt, and liquor licenses would be part of that), but not everybody is giving up on it before things even get started.


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Had bums and drugs, never shootings. It also was only going through a rough patch, it had established businesses such as Tony's market, fornax....... Not a very good comparison...

Go back a bit further

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When we moved in, there was no Fornax. Yes, Tony was there, along with the wallpaper place, the Blue Star and a few other survivors from the opening of the Dedham Mall, but no, it was not today's Square. Granted, Dudley may have more problems, but it's also getting a ton of money poured into it.


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and Councilor Jackson would be a handy person to know come time to bid on one of those 12 liquor licenses *wink wing, nudge nudge.

Not how it works

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You don't bid on licenses from the Licensing Board.

You bid on buying licenses from private owners who already received their license but are willing to sell it to you at a premium due to the exclusivity of the licenses.

Smart man:

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He knows that adding 12 local bars is the only way to get all those school department employees to bother to show up at their new office.