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Should Wellesley Vote in Favor of a Change to Liquor Laws?

Tell us your opinion in the comments.

In an effort to drive business to Wellesley – specifically to the downtown area – the town could vote in favor of a liquor law change as soon as this March's election.

Right now, restaurants must have at least 100 seats to be granted a license to serve alcohol. To order alcohol, patrons must order food as well, according to a town bylaw.

Special Town Meeting last year to authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the state legislature to authorize the board to grant alcohol licenses to restauarnts with between 50 and 99 seats pending a town vote. The board passed a motion Monday to place this as a question on the ballot. If the town votes yes, the board will update the law reducing the required seat count.

Last year at a Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Ming Tsai, owner of , said he’d like to see the for restaurants over 100 seats such as his own.

On the table also are possible “beer and wine only” license, which could be afforded to smaller restaurants, though the town only has six to give.

Do you think the liquor laws of Wellesley should change? If so, how? What changes would you like to see made. Or would you like to see them kept as is?

MS H November 01, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Yes, they should change!! I like the way Ming Tsai is in favor of the rule that would pertty much only benefit his restaurant--that said, I think these antiquated left-over-from Prohibition laws should be changed. Allow beer and wine to be served at smaller restaurants; allow all restaurants that don't have liquor licenses (since there are so few) to BYOB; and allow patrons to have a drink without food--maybe even a pub or a bar. I think Welleseley would benefit from having a local pub to hang out, someplace casual where you could bring the family for a good burger or go to for a drink with friends or family later on the evening. Just the same kind of experience that any Wellesley resident who current belongs to a private club now enjoys.
3xMom February 09, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I completely agree on all fronts. I think a local pub would do great in Wellesley. I like that we're thinking creatively about trying to keep businesses thriving in Wellesley. It's critical that we do this!
Robert02482 February 09, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I moved to Wellesley almost ten years ago and I am still amazed that the local liquor laws prohibit serving of alcohol in most restaurants and without a meal. No one has ever explained to me the logic of this rule other than to say "It's always been this way in Wellesley". Of course, this fits with the lack of liquor stores in the town which is even a more ridiculous rule! Even Needham allows small restaurants to BYO wine which is fantastic.
MJ February 09, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Wellesley residents go to Boston, Newton, Natick, etc. for dinner out. Why not stay in Wellesley? If the town is worried about drunk driving, the establishments could ha e a local cab company on call. I never drive after drinking but it would be great for us both to be able to have a cocktail, beer or wine as there's no need for a designated driver.
Hiker Mom February 09, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I completely agree with the previous posters. And I don't know anyone who thinks otherwise!

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