Bull, who is part of the group that also owns the Cabot Cinema, said prospective owners who have shown the most interest intend to keep the theater as a performing arts space “in one form or another.”
“We’re hoping the sale will happen sooner rather than later,” he said.
Scanlon said the businesses would pay the standard annual fees for the licenses, which are $2,400 for an all-alcohol license and $1,440 for a beer-and-wine license.
He said the city is considering establishing a one-time fee of $50,000 for any new all-alcohol restaurant licenses, because many of the current restaurant owners paid for their liquor licenses.
“In the case of the Larcom and the Cabot, we felt they both were going to be cultural and artistic contributors and they might actually increase restaurant business, so we looked at them as not applying the fee to them,” Scanlon said.
Fibber McGee’s Bar and Grill owner Craig DeOrio told councilors that the city should set clear guidelines on how new licenses are awarded and how much they cost.
“It does level the playing field for those of us who paid for licenses, and it raises more revenue for the city,” he said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.