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June 12, 2014

Danvers gets 6 new liquor licenses

DANVERS — Danvers got six new restaurant liquor licenses for selectmen to give out, but when those licenses might be served to applicants is anyone’s guess.

Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill on Thursday granting six additional licenses to Danvers, which is eyeing them as an economic development tool. Peabody also has a bill for 10 additional licenses; it has passed the House and Senate but has not yet been signed into law.

“Kudos to Ted Speliotis and Joan Lovely for their outstanding work in bringing this through the approval process in near record time,” Town Manager Wayne Marquis said in an email, referring to the Danvers state representative and state senator. The bill passed the House on June 4 and the Senate the next day, according to annotations on the law.

“Fantastic, that’s great,” said Selectman Gardner Trask. “... I am very, very happy we have the opportunity to encourage business growth in town.”

Trask said he intends to ask the board about how to distribute the licenses at its next meeting Tuesday, June 17.

There are some catches.

The licenses can’t be transferred for three years after they are issued. And if the licenses are transferred in the future, they must be used at the same address — they can’t be switched to businesses at other locations.

The restriction on transferring to another location is meant to spur small business owners to open local restaurants.

Selectmen were moved to ask the Legislature for additional licenses after hearing from at least three applicants vying for a single beer and wine license last fall. A home rule petition seeking the licenses was passed by Special Town Meeting in February.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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