City Councilor Ayanna Pressley (at large) wants to ask the state legislature to give Boston the ability to issue 153 new liquor licenses, mostly in neighborhoods not served by cash-rich outlets of national chain restaurants - and to issue "umbrella" licenses that would allow unlimited numbers of alcohol-serving eateries at really big developments in the city, such as the South Bay Town Center now opening up in Dorchester and the Seaport Square project under development in South Boston.
The city council tomorrow considers her request to take a detailed look at the idea before voting on the proposal, which would replace a similar request that the legislature took no action on.
Pressley, who in 2014 led a successful campaign to get 75 new liquor licenses for Boston to help spur restaurant entrepreneurs in under-served neighborhoods, wants the Boston Licensing Board to be able to dole out the new licenses over a three-year period. Unlike most of the city's current licenses, the new ones would be non-transferable - they would have to be returned to the city if the establishment closes and could not be resold on the open market.
Pressley specifically mentions Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill and Roxbury as neighborhoods that could get the majority of the licenses - along with designated "main street districts" that would also include parts of neighborhoods such as Roslindale and West Roxbury.
Acknowledging that her earlier bill did not lead to any new liquor-serving restaurants in Mattapan, Pressley's new proposal would limit the total number of new licenses each of these neighborhoods or districts could get - so Mattapan would always have at least 6 beer-and-wine licenses and 9 all-alcohol licenses available to it.
In addition to the umbrella licenses, the proposal also calls for licenses for several specific locations: The Lawn on D near the South Boston convention center, the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End and the Bolling Building in Roxbury.