The agenda for the July 26 Board of Selectmen’s meeting will include an informational update on proposed changes to liquor license renewals. Patty Correa, Brookline’s Associate Town Counsel will present the proposed regulation changes. There will then be a Public Hearing in September followed in October by the Selectmen’s vote to ratify the changes.

“We think of Brookline as a dining destination and want our regulations to protect restaurants, their customers and our neighborhoods. The proposed regulations are the first update in 20 years and incorporate changes in state laws as well as local practices,” commented Betsy DeWitt, Licensing Review Committee Co-chair with Ken Goldstein. The other members of the Licensing Review Committee are Lea Cohen, Anne Meyers, Dr. John Hermos, Peg Santuria, and Doug Rodman.

One of the more important changes to be introduced, for lack of a better term, is the definition of what constitutes bar food. Brookline does not officially have bars or saloons. Liquor licenses are issued to restaurants and taverns that serve food, as well as liquor stores. Patrons are expected to purchase food when they purchase an alcoholic beverage. Although patrons may have two drinks while munching on peanuts while waiting for a table, any additional drinks must be with actual food. This should be a welcome change for those of us who like to eat at the bar but often can’t get a seat due to those just interested in having a drink.

Once the changes are implemented, next year’s renewals for all licensed establishments under the new regulations will take place on December 31.

R. Harvey Bravman