PEABODY — Two coveted liquor licenses are up for grabs in Peabody, according to Licensing Board Chairman Minas Dakos.
Applicants have until Nov. 18 to apply for either an all-alcohol restaurant license or a wine and malt restaurant license, according to Dakos.
Lack of use is the reason that both licenses are suddenly available. An all-alcohol license granted earlier this year to East Boston restaurant owner John Mastrangelo was returned after he was unsuccessful in an effort to open a new eatery on the site of the old Fire Bull Restaurant, at Central and Walnut streets.
“It just didn’t work out,” said Dakos, noting that Mastrangelo simply returned the license.
Husband and wife Michael Clukey and Lillian Chalifour have expressed interest in obtaining the license in order to open their own restaurant in the same location. The board has notified them that they must participate in the process whereby the availability of the license is advertised and others are given the chance to purchase it.
A wine and malt license granted to World Class Billiards is being reclaimed by the board, according to secretary Darryl McCarthy. Taking back licenses can be a difficult process, but McCarthy said City Solicitor Michael Smerczynski told the board that it is within its rights to take it back, as it has gone unused for more than 180 days.
“The board gave them 180 days to transfer the license (to a buyer), and that time has expired,” McCarthy said. “They haven’t really been conducting business.”
Liquor licenses, particularly all-alcoholic licenses, are not only essential for some restaurants in making a profit, they can be sold for fabulous sums, because the city’s licenses are by law limited in number. Trader Joe’s, for example, paid $205,000 for a privately held license in 2012.
The city sells the all-alcohol license for $2,500.