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Beacon Hill market doesn't get approval to serve wine and beer with charcuterie boards

The Boston Licensing Board today rejected a request from DeLuca's Market on Charles Street to let customers sip beer or wine while nibbling cheese and meat from wooden boards at tables inside the store.

"I don't see a public need" for alcohol-enhanced sit-down charcuterie service, board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce said, noting opposition from residents and City Councilor Kenzie Bok and referring to a requirement that alcohol sales be allowed only when there is a demonstrated public need. The board's two other members agreed.

DeLuca's does have a license to sell cans of beer and bottles of wine, but customers have to carry them out for consumption elsewhere.


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No one needs to drink alcohol so why is there a "need" elsewhere in the city. Why not reject all license applications on that basis?

Voting closed 55

Based on their other approvals today - for beer and wine at an East Boston bakery and a Mexican restaurant in Newmarket Square - and on their past approvals, the board does have a rough definition of "public need" that includes lack of similar offerings in the area (there are no bakeries serving beer and wine in that part of the area; no Mexican restaurants in Newmarket Square) and/or requests from the public (people supporting the idea at a hearing or signing petitions in support).

Although DeLuca's had a petition signed by customers, which might indicate "public need," the board also heard from the neighborhood association, the neighborhood's city councilor and the mayor's office that there was hmm, "public unneed" for a license there.

Voting closed 18

My question was mostly rhetorical. Their definition of "need" is about as subjective as it comes which is why that word is not one they should be using.

(Yes, it has been and will remain this way forever.)

Voting closed 22

How about the owner of a business thinks it will be a good idea?

Voting closed 36

I feel bad for friends who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on liquor licenses but the laws in this state for booze is absurd.....

Voting closed 25

This stupid city and stupid state foisting its stupid liquor laws upon us.

Voting closed 28

Maybe the "need" should be decided by grown adults. We are so behind the times. It's time for the city to stop their strangle hold of liquor licenses that is killing small businesses. The fact Boston hasn't been able to come up w/ a better plan is just so...Boston.

Voting closed 27

The state legislature refuses to give Boston control over the number of liquor licenses in the city. Even when they allowed home rule for the rest of the state in this matter. Petition your state legislators to stop this nonsense.

Voting closed 24

There may not be a PUBLIC need, but now I am feeling a private need for beer, wine, and charcuterie.

Voting closed 6

I have a working theory (hypothesis testing ongoing) that Boston/MA’s restrictive alcohol laws are why restaurants in Boston are far inferior to Chicago and New York. It’s hard to get an alcohol permit, which makes it hard to start up and make money with a good and innovative restaurant, which leaves us with lots of average-to-piss poor options instead.

Alternatively, it could be that the deficient tastes of the locals. Not ruling that out.

Voting closed 28

Is "public need" code for "campaign donations"?

Voting closed 16

Prob not since the Licensing Board isn't made up of politicians. "Public need" is defined in the law, which is the point, that the law underpinning this stuff is very stupid.

Voting closed 8