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January 27, 2014

Danvers seeks six new liquor licenses

DANVERS — A Special Town Meeting Feb. 3 will decide whether the town will petition the state Legislature for six additional liquor licenses.

A “yes” vote on Article 5 would send a home-rule petition seeking the licenses to Beacon Hill lawmakers.

The town will determine where the licenses go at a later date.

Danvers’ desire for more liquor licenses comes at a time when Peabody is making a push for 10 more, and Beverly is seeking four new licenses at Happy Clam Seafood Cafe, Larcom Theatre, Wicked Art Bar and Half Baked Cafe and Bakery.

The six new licenses would be the all-alcoholic type. Under the proposal, the license holder cannot transfer the license “to any other person, corporation or organization for three years after the original issuance.”

“The intent is not to allow the transfer from one business to another not associated with the business,” said selectmen Chairman Gardner Trask.

The proposal does not call for the creation of more package-store licenses, Town Manager Wayne Marquis said.

Licenses that are canceled, revoked or no longer in use would be returned to the town.

Town Clerk Joseph Collins said the article gives the town some flexibility as to where the new licenses might go, helping to spur economic development.

For instance, if a restaurant is granted the license in Danvers Square and it closes within three years, selectmen would be able to relocate the license to another address where someone wants to open a restaurant.

Selectmen met Dec. 17 to discuss adding licenses in advance of the February Town Meeting.

The town presently has 48 various types of alcohol licenses issued, Collins said, but there is a demand for more.

Of these, 26 are all-alcoholic licenses for restaurants, seven are beer and wine licenses for restaurants, and two are for all-alcoholic club licenses (Knights of Columbus on Elm Street and Polish Club on Cheever Street).

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