If city can rustle up a liquor license, Indian restaurant in Forest Hills should get one, board says
The Boston Licensing Board voted today to approve a full liquor license for Bukhara Indian Bistro, 3698 Washington St. in Forest Hills, should one somehow become available.
Board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce said the 51-seat restaurant proved a public need for a liquor license at that location because of the explosion of residential units near the Forest Hills T station - some 650 new units are now underway or planned.
Unlike food-serving licenses, the number of liquor licenses in Boston is limited by the state legislature.
At a hearing last week, both the mayor's office and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council supported the request by Bukhara, a few doors down from another Indian restaurant. Nobody spoke against.
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If only we could fix artificial scarcity...
Hmm, if only there was a way to grant one. The point of a liquor license is to ensure places selling alcohol are following all applicable laws, allowing it to be revoked if there are issues. It was never designed to have such scarcity that it should cost $50,000 much less $500,000 for one. We seem to have forgotten that artificial scarcity is just another monumental barrier to entry for businesses that our city should support.
If covid should've taught us anything, it should be to remove absurd barriers of entry for small businesses. The city should immediately make the 'value' of a liquor license $50k by making them freely available, provided neighbors don't object and the license has to get 're-approved every 5-10 years. For every license the city sells from now on, the vast majority of that money will go into a fund to ensure that small bars & restaurants are made almost whole, relative to what they paid for their license when they want to sell. (So, if a restaurant paid $300k for it 20 years ago, they'd get ~$340k if they sold today). Corporate owned restaurants & chains of more than 5+ places can only sell back at $50k.
Who owns licenses?
I looked over the list of liquor licenses for Boston. Based on that list the vast majority appear to be owned by single businesses. At least when sorting by business name, applicant or manager.
_Sean, please run for Mayor!
That is the most sensible solution to the f*cked-up liquor license situation that I have ever read. That could be really transformative!
I know that it has only been a century since alcohol prohibition ended but the gov't could withdraw from the liquor business and give people the freedom to do what they want and let the market decide, (pause for: pearl clutching, nimby crowd)
How much can I get for my drivers licence?
What do you I can't sell a drivers licence? Why can they sell a liqueur licence? This needs to change, if an establishment closes the licence should go back to the city.
I like the direction of this, but...
it needs some work. Making the small owners whole can't simply be done when they decide to sell. It has to be done immediately, because most of them took on debt to buy the license in the first place. If they are still servicing that debt, that's an operating cost that a new license holder will not have to incur. There are ways to calculate the correct compensation, and like I said, you have the right basic idea, but we need to consider all factors, not just the original cash price.
List of liquor licenses in Boston
I found this list which I believe shows what businesses (both business name and DBA) possess liquor licenses in Boston, when the license was issued, expires, etc. However, the issued date does not appear to be the original issue date. Over 1,400. In its own right fascinating information.
It's interesting to me that the long-awaited arrival of BYOB in Boston was so restrictive that only 6 such licenses have been granted.
The number of liquor licenses in Boston is capped by the state. I think this whole system goes back to the time when the Yankee Brahmans saw themselves being eclipsed politically by the Irish.
A separate state level liquor board was set up by them and it lasts until this day. I won't say that it's impossible to dismantle this system, but it sure won't be easy (or quick).
It's 3698 Washington St, not 3968
Didn't they have one?
When they were in JP?
They had a beer and wine license
... so you could get a Kingfisher with your tikka, but not a vodka tonic.
I was sorry to see them move out of Centre Street — they had some health compliance problems at their old location, but it did keep the crowds down.
will someone tell me why Bukhara is an Indian restaurant? And where is the corresponding Mumbai Uzbek restaurant?
Why are French Fries French?
What does Rose of Sharon have to do with roses or Sharon, anywhere Earth? What's the deal with Jerusalem artichokes. They did not originate in Jerusalem, Israel nor are they related to artichokes. At least Brussel Sprouts have some connection to Brussels, Belgium.
World's greatest cuisine from some of the harshest environs
Granted this is purely subjective, but to me the world's greatest cuisines come from the East. French, German, Italian, even English all have their pleasures. But Afghani cuisine makes the hearts sing. Discovered cilantro infused vinegar at an Afghani restaurant. A prince among all acidic flavorings.
Two businesses that will raise JP's food creds
An Afghan restaurant. An Indian grocery store. Whether hipster or tipster, gentrified or genuflecting, a neighborhoods that prides itself on food and restaurants needs one of each.
The two Ethiopian restaurants (a couple doors apart) aren't enough?