Beverly hopes to add four new licenses and has already picked out the establishments: Happy Clam Seafood Cafe, Larcom Theatre, Wicked Art Bar, and Half Baked Cafe and Bakery. Larcom Theatre would receive an all-alcohol license, while the other three businesses would get beer-and-wine licenses. Again, the idea is to spark the downtown economy.
Both efforts are currently working their way through the legislative process on Beacon Hill, thanks to an outdated law that allows the state House and Senate to decide what’s best for cities and towns. We have long said that local communities should have the right to decide how to best administer alcohol licenses and that the marketplace is the best way to determine how many licenses are necessary.
There are those who worry that adding licenses will bring more trouble like the recent incidents in Peabody and Salem. Of course, there’s no guarantee that wouldn’t happen. But the strong reactions from the licensing boards in those two cities show local communities are able to handle such problems on their own, without interference from the state.