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Doyle's is closing

Yes, that Doyle's, the Doyle's that has been open since 1882, the Doyle's that has long been both a neighborhood hangout and an essential stop for any politician looking to win Boston votes, Boston Restaurant Talk reports.

History of Doyle's.

Photo tour of the interior.

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Comments

We're losing another small piece of the real Boston. That sucks.

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Voting closed 60

Somebody will try to get this landmarked. I'm not a huge fan of this process, but this might qualify. Granted, that usually applies to the exterior, but if the exterior is landmarked, i don't see someone converting the interior to condos.

Anyone else know more about the process/requirements?

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Voting closed 11

JP NIMBYs will absolutely seek to get Landmark status onto this building to prevent a new condo or apartment building there. Guaranteed. This is a group fighting Pine Street Inn not far down the road for crying out loud.

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Voting closed 12

For as liberal and open-minded as it portends, its really just wants to a whitewashed, sterile, and safe "city lite" that tries to shield itself from the problems with actual city living. i.e. "No poors allowed!"

I always felt real city living meant that no matter your station in life, we all gotta take the same train, and drink the same coffee, and share the same streets.

It helps equalize each other, especially in the eyes of children. If Ainsely, Jackson, Mackenzie, or little precious Xiara want to grow up well adjusted, it would do them a world of good to see how other humans must struggle to survive.

Otherwise, these are gonna be cold, self centered, sheltered little JP monsters without an ounce of empathy for those just outside their own neighborhoods.

Tattooed hipsters on e-scooters, basically.

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Voting closed 15

Perspective, people.

I lived in JP in the mid 1980s and never went to Doyles. That is because it was in an area, at that time, one did not venture alone.

I have been to Doyles a few times in my life and the food was basically ok. Nice place to get a few beers, though. Will I miss it? Nope.

Now, in regards to this post:

1. Why do you assume that those that are "liberal" are necessarily "open-minded"?
2. JP is gentrified and by its nature, yes, JP of the 1980s, where I was mugged, happens less now than it did then (although by no means is it immune to crime). More gentrification, more safety - the trade off, less character. That train has left the station many years ago, my friend.
3. Real city living, as you describe it, is no longer Boston proper and most of its environs. If you want a taste of real city living, where you are exposed to the gritty, try Fall River or Springfield.
4. I agree. It would be good for us to be exposed to a variety of folks from different paths and classes. However, I do not blame the folks that live in JP for the demise of Doyles. It sounds like the owners were presented with a deal to good to refuse.
5. Sounds like you have a big grudge against hipsters. You might want to work on that.

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Voting closed 11

I lived in JP in the mid 1980s and never went to Doyles. That is because it was in an area, at that time, one did not venture alone.

Sure glad I wasn't aware of that back in the 80's. A bud of mine lived in JP and we regularly met there.

I'm not saying it wasn't a shaky area, I just didn't know it. I was always able to park pretty close and didn't have to wander too much around there.

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Voting closed 9

Basically, things change and there isn't a lot the city can do about it. If Doyles was in Fall River maybe it would have stuck around because a liquor license can't be resold and the value of property isn't high. Be thankful the owner at least gets to have a nice retirement because he owned in JP.

Gentrification cuts both ways. Everyone complains when it raises the prices or pushes out long time residents/businesses but few people bemoan the safety and high resale values that generally come alone with an area becoming popular.

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Voting closed 9

I am one that prefers my old JP of the 70's, 80's, etc. I never felt unsafe...maybe because I was from there. I do remember people scoffing at where I was from and I never understood it.

It nowhere near resembles the place I grew up and where my family still lives. For me gentrification has made JP just like any other "cool, hip" place; boring and predictable. JP was always cool to me.

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Voting closed 6

1.) I don't. That's the joke.

2 & 3) I fully understand gentrification, my point is "save the bar, screw the poors" is not a good example to set while projecting a very "everyones equal" image.

4.) I dont care about Doyle's and fully support a business owner making as much as possible from their transaction.

Lastly,

5.) Hipsters are basic. You wanna be hip and different? Shave the overly long beard, save your money on the full sleeve of tattoos you got all at once, and start dressing like youre in Devo.

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Voting closed 1

I knew real estate prices in JP were going crazy, but I thought I’d be long dead and gone before Doyle’s closed up shop.

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Voting closed 29

That I'm sure Davios will use to over-charge their Euro-trash clientele downtown.

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Voting closed 34

Losing Doyle's but "gaining" a Davios in the seaport. What a terrible trade. I'll miss Doyle's. I've been there as recently as two weeks ago.

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Voting closed 48

We are in agreement. The sad thing is the reason why. Doyle’s appealed to a broad demographic. It will be sad to see it go. It’s like ripping the heart out of JP.

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Voting closed 19

Doyle’s appealed to a broad demographic.

I'm quite certain that plenty of guys went there too.

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Voting closed 29

It was okay, and the food was pretty good, as well. It's too bad that it's due to close.

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Voting closed 4

It was okay, and the food was pretty good, as well. It's too bad that it's due to close.

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Voting closed 5

I need one last Doyle’s fix.

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Voting closed 16

No Doyle’s, no Durgin-Park, no Jacob Wirths.

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Voting closed 64

Build at all costs for his union and development buddies, get kick backs, and screw any real planning for the future.

I'm in the YIMBY crowd, but that doesn't mean I don't see the problem with how City Hall is going about building out massive developments with zero consideration for infrastructure, transportation planning, or public amenities.

Its easier to give Amazon a fat $20 million check and point to rosy square footage projections.

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Voting closed 55

If liquor licenses weren't going for $450k each, perhaps the owner sells Doyles to a new owner.

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Voting closed 22

Marty is no great shakes but what is he supposed to do here? Intervene to stop a restaurant owner from cashing out? That's Soviet. People are trying to put all their angst about change and everything else onto this when it's their right and decision to close and make bank if they want to. Shake their hand for the years of service, buy one more pint, and head over to the Behan, Costello's, or Jeanie. It'll be ok.

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Voting closed 21

Being reminded all these institutions are gone or going away makes me really sad.

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Voting closed 8

No Doyle’s, no Durgin-Park, no Jacob Wirths.

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Voting closed 14

We've become a generic global brand city.

#WORLD CLASS

Boston is the Starbucks of coastal American cities now. Better than Dunkins but you still want to puke.

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Voting closed 9

To save the history and add it to their tour. Anyone got contacts over there?

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Voting closed 76

Its just a matter of time to when Sam is financially manipulated and taken over . The acquisitioning party will then dispose of assets, i.e. Germania street lab brewery , proceed to brew the beer themselves in an existing facility and move on to applaud themselves for synergistic wizardry. This will probably coincide with peaking real estate value in the old gritty JP area and the realization that craft brewing is economically unfeasible due to lack of customer loyalty and the critical mass requirements of actually having volume in product to make money. Bring back Haffenreffer.

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Voting closed 2

that it's worth it to someone to buy it and keep it going - but I can't imagine it'll be cheap. Best we can probably hope for is Sam Adams taproom location no. 2 :-(

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Voting closed 12

They're selling their liquor license, which is worth more than apple stock.

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Voting closed 11

Just about the price of the first floor of a fixer-upper triple-decker in the neighborhood.

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Voting closed 15

Maybe they could get a cheaper beer/wine license. Most people drink beer there.

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Voting closed 18

That's a good idea, kinopio. I wonder what the availability is.

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Voting closed 13

This means Rick Berlin is out of a job!!!

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Voting closed 35

He can still nickel n dime it with his band

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Voting closed 5

The Seaport is essentially an entire new city and the neighbor liquor licenses are gold. Its like the cabbie medallions before Uber, the prices are being driven up by large companies willing to pay.

Cappy's in Readville were smart to sell their license and their patrons now cross the bridge to Village Manor. But one by one the old time places are realizing they can sell the license and retire with a pretty penny.

There was the BYOB license that Seven Star had... but I have not heard about those anymore.

I know the licensing is controlled at the state level, for whatever reason. But how can small businesses try to compete?

Is there any talk of a shake up at any level?

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Voting closed 32

A BYOB license makes no sense.

What's next, a license to BYOB without a BYOB license?

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Voting closed 7

Because of concerns that date back to when the Brahmins tried every way they could to control the Irish taking over Boston (the 1919 police strike? The commissioner was an anti-union Republican appointed by Gov. Calvin Coolidge because in the 1880s, the legislature took away the Boston mayor's right to appoint a police chief on account of him being Irish at the time), the total number of liquor licenses in Boston is set by the state legislature.

Two years in a row now, the city council and mayor have submitted home-rule petitions to add more liquor licenses in Boston.

One guess what's happened with those bills.

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Voting closed 37

much like how the market for taxi medallions was kept artificially limited and thus high through lobbying by the corporate masters who'd amassed dozens of them, existing liquor license holders actively (and through groups like the distribution business lobby, which is its own mess) campaign against more licenses being put out as to not "lose their investment". See the whole fiasco with Redds in Rozzie, where the dude wanted to sell his existing license for 500k, be given a special limited neighborhood-only license through the new city program, then threw a fit when he was told that wasn't how it work and took his toys home with a big tantrum about his "investment".

and just like how taxi medallions are now valueless, it will take a massive market shake up and a willingness to let people hang before anything is solved. we're probably 10+ years out from that happening - enough time for every small owner in the city to sell to some shitty chain in downtown/seaport, and enough time for public opinion to turn against those guys so the government can feel real safe in changing up the program.

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Voting closed 13

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Voting closed 44

I'm sure Doyle's has a citywide license and that's all Davios wants. I don't see Davio's recreating Doyle's downtown or elsewhere. Would Doyle's qualify for a neighborhood license? I know some of the neighborhood bars sold their citywide license and reapplied for the neighborhood ones when they became available. The name and "goodwill" as the restaurant brokers call it, would be worth a fortune, especially if the real estate could be packaged in. The Doyle's brand and location is worth a lot more than the citywide license.

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Voting closed 11

No. He does not own the property. Just the license.

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Voting closed 10

Because the owner's name is Burke and the name of the trust that owns the land and building is named Burke Somethingorother.

You could read his quote about real estate being as high as it will get in JP one of two ways: He's being soaked by his landlord, or it's time to cash out. If he owns the building, there's really only one way to read it.

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Voting closed 27

What's the difference between "BURKE EDWARD J TS", listed owner of the parcel and the guy in the article, Gerry Burke Jr?

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Voting closed 9

Edward and Jerry, along with their brother Billy, managed the tavern for over two decades. Jerry was the last of the three Burke brothers involved in operating the café, and, in June 2004, he handed the reins to his son, Jerry Burke Jr., and godson Chris Spellman.

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Voting closed 7

There are four Burke-owned parcels in total, assessed at about $1 million, though market value is probably much more. The corner parcel sits atop the Stony Brook culvert. Until 2005, it was owned by Boston Water and Sewer Commission, which had given Doyle's a 100 year lease. In 2005, the lease expired and BWSC sold it to the Burke's for $5,000, despite the fact that another bidder had offered $100,000. (http://archive.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/04/19/bar_battle_goes...) That parcel is now assessed at $311,000. The easement granted back to BWSC in 2005 states that only a one-story building can be built there, though the other three parcels are not similarly encumbered.

Basically, between the corner parcel and the liquor license, the Burke's just reaped at least $860,000 in windfall profits for stuff they've gotten from the city for cheap or free.

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Voting closed 49

Also, before someone starts ranting about property taxes, the levy on all four parcels is about $39K per year, which seems like a lot, but translates into only about 16 beers per day*, which they probably clear before noon.

*assuming $6 per beer, which is about standard for Doyle's

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Voting closed 37

From the Globe:

Burke said he owns the business and the liquor license but not the property, which is owned by his uncle, Eddie.

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Voting closed 12

I'm not sure what the solution is, but....

do we get it yet that without a solution literally EVERYTHING in our environment will become INCREDIBLY SQUARE GLASS BULLSHIT IN INCREDIBLY TALL SQUARE buildings, with ceaselessly bland patrons for the various transient technology-doped soylent Nu-majority? food and culture and the establishments known to support those things are hemorrhaging human value

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Voting closed 51

I want you to be our spokesperson. Right on. Yea, change happens, but mono-chromaticism is obtuse. Are the paint stores offering any vibrant colors? Regular dinner ware has changed. Noise(music) impales every chance of open space. The majestic swirl of Boston is being delineated.There are no spaces to sit amongst the surroundings.

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Voting closed 9

“the real estate in JP is as high as it's going to get “

I doubt that’s the case.

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Voting closed 22

I think this is probably the ceiling. Cool/interesting businesses are closing left and right. That leads people to wonder why they're paying such a premium to live here. At least in my circle, the exodus has been going on for a while and things like this really speed that up.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/americas-three-biggest...

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Voting closed 7

I don't know if it's really relevant, though. It talks about exodus from large cities... mostly to other, not quite as large cities (which are all larger than Boston).

Sure, lots of folks are worried about the premium to live in Boston, but that's not quite the same thing as the premium to live in JP. That's kind of an intra-urban thing. People who leave JP aren't going to Austin. They're going to Dedham.

Also, if your job is in Boston, and you really love the area, where are you going to go? You really want to live in Phoenix?

JP real estate is pretty crazy, but it's also not all built up yet. And have you seen Cambridge real estate? Now that's bonkers.

Unless a major recession hits this year or next, JP real estate has some appreciation to come yet.

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Voting closed 21

True. I'm probably reading my own experience into that article. I decamped Roslindale for Madison WI last year. While there are many things I miss, I'm paying early 2000s Boston prices for rent in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city.

When you go through Harvard Square or lots of spots in Manhattan you can't help but notice all the empty store fronts or banks or big chain stores where the cool stuff used to be. What's the point of paying the big premium to live there if all you've got is the stores from the mall.

The Dedham example is a good one. People are fleeing to some of these suburban towns, but last I looked there still wasn't a whole lot going on (other than the cost of housing) that made those places appealing.

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Voting closed 15

Housing in many of these bedroom communities here in the Boston area is also quite expensive, as well. Some of these suburbs may be a little cheaper, regarding housing, but it balances out on the long run, especially if one commutes from the suburbs to a job in the city, and then back out again afterwards, whether it be by car or by public transportation, which, btw, is also getting expensive.

The area out by I-495, which used to be more affordable for a lot of people, has also gotten more expensive, as well.

Some people claim that the area of the Bay State out near Worcester is somewhat cheaper, but that's because a lot of people won't move to Worcester. As with all areas, however, once more people do start moving there, prices will begin to increase in the Worcester area, as well.

I'll also add that Lincoln, MA, the town that my siblings and I grew up in, which is about 13 miles northwest of Boston, has also become quite expensive. There are one-quarter, one-half million, and 1 million dollar and over being built in the town. Land in that town is also very, very expensive, as well.

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Voting closed 6

I am not the “old JP” but we have been here around 15 years. Old enough. I have to say that I am quite interested in what could be next for Doyle’s. We stopped going there years ago because of the bland and boiled food and lack of interesting beers. The service is always delightful. The ambiance interesting, but not enough to keep our patronage or loyalty. Some things have to change with the times, folks. I know most of the community feel differently than us. If there is a way to have it stay, fine, but we’ll only go if changes are made to the business. They have been wonderful to the community to open up their space to community groups and events, free of charge. I will give them that. We happened upon Trivia Night one night (our absolute last night of poor quality product, we decided) and admittedly had a good time. The SNA will have to find a new place to meet - or should I say, maybe real and good development can actually happen in that neighborhood given there is no longer a place for them to meet.

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Voting closed 13

Its not so much an Exodus, as a change of Guards. The housing demand shows it, along with the demand for businesses relocating here.

The city is growing at a pace not seen since the 1940s, and the states transportation woes is only making it more attractive to the white collar professionals that can afford it.

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Voting closed 10

But really none of us can predict the future.

In 2006, before the crash, real estate was booming, then it crashed, and by 2016 I'd bet prices were much higher than in 2006. I would imagine by 2029 prices will be much higher than they are now. But really none of us know. Maybe Burke wants to retire sooner rather than later and he figured the safe bet was to cash out now. Otherwise he risks a crash (albeit a small one, do prices really fall that much in Boston?) and has to wait 10 years (maybe less) to sell. Either way he has no clue when the top of the market will be.

Let's say he's short term right: he looks like a genius and laughs all the way to the bank. He won't care if in 5-10 years he could have got 500K more.

Let's say he's short term wrong: markets rise for another 2 or 3 years before they crash in which case he left 200-300K on the table. The risk/reward doesn't seem worth it in that scenario.

Long term right and the market doesn't see a higher price- he's a real estate super star.

Long term wrong is the only scenario that sucks for him. In the end he probably made a smart decision, but I just wish he wouldn't try to predict the future at the same time.

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Voting closed 6

If he doesn't own the building and the liquor license is the one big asset he has, then your post is kind of right in that his one big asset (license) will hopefully be devalued near term if/when the licensing is fixed. In that case, pulling the Redd's move and cashing out at the top of the market is the right call but again, don't come crying to the public about your decision to make a ton(!) of money on something which is wildly overvalued due to politics.

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Voting closed 10

I used to know the artist (since deceased) who did the mural in there. He put the coffee cup in Flynn's hand as a joke.

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Voting closed 16

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Voting closed 8

Seaport, ruining yet another local Boston neighborhood institution for a chain restaurant with no character.

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Voting closed 26

So many deals; so little time.

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Voting closed 9

No-o-o-o-o!

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Voting closed 5

:-(. Magoo.

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Voting closed 12

I CAN'T KEEP UP!

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Voting closed 13

What's next, Galway House to replaced by a bank? Jamaica Plain is headed to have no character anymore.

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Voting closed 13

Call me a NIMBY all you want but my hometown lost it's character years ago. It's a caricature of itself now.

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Voting closed 6

My old hometown never had any character to begin with. I don't miss it at all.

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Voting closed 5

JP hasn’t been the same since the Gas moved out !

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Voting closed 4

Fix. The damn. Liquor licence. Rationing.

Status Quo Marty has no incentive to actually get this done because nothing should ever be reformed here, but hopefully Mayor Wu hears the loud sucking noise that is the Seaport draining signs of life and economic opportunity out of more established residential neighborhoods.

Obviously this is a state level fix but the first step to change is actually giving a plop.

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Voting closed 15

This isn't a Marty problem, it's a state legislature problem.

And in this case, it's not a license problem, it's a real-estate pricing problem (and possibly a family-dynamics problem).

Although there is an annual fee for a liquor license, it's relatively peanuts - the real cost is the acquisition of one, and that obviously was not an issue here.

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Voting closed 19

They're sitting on a ridiculous $450,000 slip of paper thanks to the state legislature.

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Voting closed 11

that Papercuts is closing so that a Barnes & Noble can open in Charlestown

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Voting closed 5

Liquor licenses in Boston should not be transferable or resellable. They should be tied to the establishment and returned to the city if the establishment closes. Otherwise, we're going to end up with nothing but large mediocre restaurants and bars. Ever notice how Cambridge and Somerville have more smaller local places then Boston? This is why.

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Voting closed 14

just don't make them limited. If your business is zoned correctly and you can follow the standards to have a liquor license, you should be able to get one for a nominal fee - no reason to buy/trade/sell them if you can always get another one from the city if needed.

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Voting closed 6