Selectmen Chairman Gardner Trask said the intent would be for the town to regulate this practice the way it does liquor licenses, making sure servers are trained in serving alcohol.
“I just don’t see the excitement of brown-bagging it as a community,” said Bennett, who wondered how brown-bagging might help generate more meals taxes.
Selectman Diane Langlais said she likes the idea of brown-bagging, saying it will boost meals taxes because restaurants will do more business.
Discussion about the town getting more liquor licenses was sparked this fall after at least three applicants applied for a single available beer and wine license. Selectmen awarded the license to the Daily Harvest Cafe on High Street, but a restaurant planned for a building under construction on Holten Street and a Chinese restaurant on High Street had also applied. Kelly’s Roast Beef also showed interest in this license, Trask said.
At the meeting, Selectman David Mills said he felt bad the town did not have enough licenses to go around. Small restaurants “should have the opportunity without major investment to serve beer and wine,” Mills said.
Trask said he spoke about a month ago with state Rep. Ted Speliotis, D-Danvers, about increasing the number of licenses in Danvers through a home rule petition to the Legislature, similar to the mechanism Peabody is using. He also asked the town to investigate brown-bagging, he said.
Speliotis has said in recent weeks he favors “over quota” licenses for Peabody. A home rule petition for this has not been filed yet, he said yesterday.
“It seems every couple of years, we have an over-quota license” in Danvers, Speliotis said. He said he has not been approached formally by the town on this issue.
Speliotis said he would “hear what the town is interested in doing and be helpful if I can be.”
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.