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A world-class city needs a Hyatt with a liquor license in the Seaport, lawyer tells board

When applicants go before the Boston Licensing Board for a liquor license, they have to answer the question of the "public need" for the license. At a hearing this morning, a lawyer for the Hyatt chain cited Boston's international stature as a reason for the board to approve the chain's proposed purchase of the license now used by An Tain on India Street for a 294-room, 12-story hotel it's building at 315 Northern Ave. in the Seaport.

"In a world-class city, it's essential to have a liquor license there," attorney Joseph Devlin said.

The board could vote tomorrow whether to approve the purchase. If it wins approval, Hyatt would use its license to serve drinks to guests and visitors, including in two bars, one in the lobby - which would be on the second floor since the first floor of the building will house stores - one on the 12th floor.

The new $85-million hotel will be geared towards business travelers, Devlin said. It will include small meeting rooms, he added.

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Comments

Finally, we'll be able to go to a hotel bar in the Seaport - at long last.

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Voting closed 44

They got an insincere pr spin answer.

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Voting closed 24

The amount of money which changes hands privately to satisfy the demands of some teetotalers in the 1930s, or something, is insane.

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Voting closed 86

government-issued licenses on the private market. Or to allow business owners to use them as collateral in securing loans.

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Voting closed 33

if there's no limit on them. Why would I pay you anything for something I can get from the city for free? (I'm assuming there'd still be a nominal fee to cover inspections etc regardless of whether you got your license from the city or some other party)

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Voting closed 17

too much money invested in keeping their value high at the moment - imagine what happened with the taxi racket and uber/lyft but instead of a wildly unpopular product and the medallions mostly getting owned by 3-4 serious douchbags who the pols feel comfortable in spurning, it's something people generally like right now and plenty of "boohoo I'm an independent owner they just wiped me out :,(" sob stories. look at Redd's closing in a huff because the licence MIGHT one day lose value. people were defending that.

The answer is to issue x+y new licenses every year, with y increasing as the years go by, so people who need to cash out can cash out.... or instead of limiting new licenses to less served neighborhoods, just put a straight up ban on new issued licenses to places that're getting massive corporate owned investment chains (seaport, downtown, back bay) and let them support the private market through the downturn.

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Voting closed 10

IIRC the underlying idea was an effort by folks — whether you called them “advocates for clean government” or “anti-Irish Yankees” probably depended on where your bread was getting buttered at the time— to remove, wherever possible, discretionary authority from the Curley administration so as to cut off Curley’s graft revenue.

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Voting closed 17

The primary beneficiaries of the current liquor license regime, just as with taxi medallions, are those who collect interest by financing the large amounts of capital required to buy a liquor license or a taxi medallion.

Another example of regulatory capture, and a significant net transfer of value from people who run bars or operate cabs, to bankers.

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Voting closed 0

There used to be a huge SCAM in Boston involving Taxi Medallions -- the power of that money tied up in a small plate

Now Uber, Lyft, etc., has broken the back of the Taxi Monopoly -- "Taxi Medallions we dona need no stinkin-medallions" [to paraphrase the Treasure of the Sierra Madre via Blazing Saddles]

How do you do the same with Liquor Licenses??

and then all the machinations about Zoning Appeals and building small-scale projects

The basic rules should be:

  1. As long as you don't commit fraud, don't violate basic standards for health and safety then you as the owner of some property should be able to do pretty-much as you please with it.
  2. Further in any court proceeding brought against you for doing what you want to do -- you are innocent and it must be up to the state or any other individual to prove otherwise.
  3. And finally if in the process of trying to limit your actions -- you win -- then they have to pay all of your expenses in defending yourself.
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Voting closed 2

When applicants go before the Boston Licensing Board for a liquor license, they have to answer the question of the "public need" for the license.

Aren’t we lucky to be living in a free market economy, where the success or failure of a business is driven by customer choice, and not in some Soviet style bullshit where an unelected bureaucracy determines what sort of businesses ought to exist.

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Voting closed 24

One of the issues with letting the "market" decide who gets to open up a packie or bar, there are still laws on the books regarding distribution, transport, and sale of alcohol which would also need to change.

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Voting closed 8

and that's a problem why?

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Voting closed 8

The various creative ways to say "Mommy needs her martini"

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Voting closed 6

City: “Why should we let you do this?”

Applicant: “World class city.”

City: “Say no more.”

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Voting closed 18

City: “Why should we let you do this?”

The city should not in general ever be asking this question.

And the answer, in general, ought to be, “Because the city has the legal right to regulate or restrict only a small number of things, and this isn’t one of them.

I’m by no means a Libertarian or an apologist for Libertarian bullshit, but pretty much no matter where you are on the ideological map, ya gotta admit that the way liquor licensing is done is insane government overreach.

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Voting closed 12

they’re calling it the Seaport because South Boston already has their fair share of liquor licenses. See story below about packies.

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Voting closed 10