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Roslindale Chinese restaurant could get beer and wine license - if South End tapas place gets a new liquor license

Seven Star Street Bistro on Belgrade Avenue leans tomorrow whether it can buy a beer-and-wine license from Estragon on Harrison Avenue.

The deal is contingent on Estragon replacing the license with one of the new all-alcohol licenses approved by the state legislature to spur restaurant development in neighborhoods that have been losing liquor licenses to downtown and the waterfront.

The Boston Licensing Board votes on the dual license applications tomorrow morning.

Seven Star applied for a beer and wine license last year when it began building a dining area, but is too far outside the Roslindale Square Main Street district to get one of the new licenses. Estragon, however, is in the Washington Gateways Main Street district and so eligible.

Avi Liss, attorney for Seven Star owner Christopher Lin, said letting Seven Star serve beer and wine in its newly expanded space would prove "a spark" to rejuvenation of the area around Belgrade and Walworth streets that could mean the sort of dining opportunities there that Roslindale Square now offers.

Representatives from the mayor's office and City Councilor Tim McCarthy supported the proposal and praised Lin's food and reputation.

City officials also supported Estragon's request for an all-alcohol license, as did several residents - one of whom said she's a native of the South and is looking forward to getting a shot of bourbon with her food there. Officials praised owner Julio de Haro for opening a restaurant there at a time when few were willing to take that risk.

If de Haro does get the new license, it will be restricted - he will not be able to resell it as he has proposed with his current license.

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Comments

Is a take-out place, give it to a new sit-down location in the Square!

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They have a dining room. Also, they're not getting the license for free. They're paying for it.

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They are expanding to a space next door. (Workers making progress).

and they are looking to start offering Ramen...
https://www.facebook.com/sevenstarstreetbistro?fref=ts

There's plenty of sit down places in there square. That corner of Belgrade needs some life!

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I never understand the differences between an all-liquor and beer/wine license. I go to Estragon frequently, and their cocktail menu contains rum, vodka, bourbon, etc. Yes, some of them are flavored or "infused", but does that really make them legal under a beer/wine license?

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Filter some vodka through rose hips or something and now it's a liqueur. Fun with alcohol regulation!

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Actually, those types of establishments have a cordials license. They can't serve distilled spirits straight up, but they can mix them into drinks since the spirits are infused w/ stuff.

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Unless the rules have change in recent months, such places can't have any traditional spirits on hand, even if only to mix into drinks. I've sat through enough violation hearings where this has been an issue.

What they can do is buy "cordials" - which are basically spirits with a bit of flavoring or something. The wheels of justice and liquor licensing grind exceedingly fine.

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So this new type of liquor license is supposed to help local restaurants in outer neighborhoods which are being outbid by fancy places in trendy downtown neighborhoods. But Roslindale isn't eligible, and the South End is?

And the new licenses are not sellable, while presumably the government fee for one will be way cheaper than buying a regular license on the open market. But a restaurant can sell their regular license at the market price at the same time they get their new cheap license.

Talk about an overly complicated bureaucracy having unintended consequences...

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is able to get the license. It's too bad that a small new restaurant will have to buy one. But it is key to attracting sit-down customers.

If extra licenses are available and given out by the Board, I assume they are free? Does anyone know otherwise? Like the one obtained by Ula's in JP.

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I have been eating there for over a year....Chris and his wife are lovely people and they work hard to produce some of the finest Taiwanese / Chinese food I've ever had. It's time to give them an opportunity to take it to the next level. He needs at the very least a beer/wine if not full liquor. They have invigorated a long dormant space and want it to grow. Let's help make this happen Boston.

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A small restaurant like that is not likely to become a problem to the neighborhood because of excessive drinking (and the related problems.) The city needs to have some control, but getting a beer/wine license for a restaurant should be similar to getting an occupancy permit.

The idea that you need to pay thousands of dollars for a license before you can have a few beers in the fridge for people who want one is so puritanical.

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Not fair to the Puritans, who were not teatotallers. In fact, they liked their beer -- and brandy and gin and wine and whatever.

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