Brookline Town Hall

Brookline Town Hall

The Advisory Subcommittee has scheduled a public hearing tonight to address the question of Article 17 (extending legal hours for alcohol sales). The hearing will take place in Town Hall’s Room 310 at 6 pm, and the full Advisory Committee is expected to vote on the matter Tuesday or Thursday of next week.

In May of last year, the Board of Selectmen created a 9-member Liquor Licensing Committee tasked with making recommendations on liquor licensing practices and regulations. The Committee, comprised of government, business and residential representatives, included Selectmen Betsy DeWitt, Selectman Ken Goldstein, Chamber of Commerce President Lea Cohen, Attorney Joe Hanley, Economic Development Advisory Board Member Anne Meyers, former liquor license holder Doug Rodman, Town Meeting members Tom Gallitano, Chris Chanyasulkit and Peg Senturia.

Article 17 would allow local authorities to decide whether or not to approve extended hours for alcohol sales on a case by case basis, as outlined by the state in Chapter 138, Section 33B. Known as the ‘Sunday Brunch Law’, the local option statute would permit the Board of Selectmen to license restaurants, hotels and clubs to sell alcohol beginning at 10 am on Sundays, Memorial Day, Christmas and the day after (when either falls on a Sunday). Currently, the Board is only authorized to issue licenses from 12 pm on these days.

To make a recommendation on the matter, the Liquor Licensing Committee interviewed current license holders, and widespread support for adopting the Sunday Brunch Law was found. Those interviewed explained that the ability to begin serving alcohol earlier would permit a second seating for their mid-day meal; a more cost-effective option for their businesses. It was also noted by Committee members that allowing extended hours of liquor sales would increase town revenues from the local option meals tax. Based on the information gathered, the Committee, voted unanimously in support of adopting Article 17.

Catie Hayes, Editor