Massachusetts Beverage Business



There might just be a liquor license windfall coming to Boston. Thirteen Boston liquor licenses could be freed up if a proposal for a special airport liquor license goes through. The Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan International Airport, has drafted a petition requesting that the city grant new restricted airport licenses to the approximately 4O vendors, including restaurants and airline clubs that serve alcohol at the airport. Currently, these operators share about 13 regular liquor licenses, with several of them sharing licenses that belong to Logan terminal retail managers – Airmall USA and Westfield Concession Management – which have one apiece. Under the new proposal, each restaurant, bar and club at Logan would have to purchase a new airport license – $25OO for an all-inclusive license, $1OOO for beer and wine only – and those that currently have their own liquor licenses would have to sell them to a Boston establishment outside the airport, pending approval from the Boston Licensing Board.
Having each airport vendor responsible for its own license, instead of having many of them sharing a license owned by their retail manager, will make the administrative process simpler, said Lowell Richards, Chief Development Officer for Massport. It will also make it easier to address any problems directly with the licensee. Massport modeled its proposal after similar geographic-specific liquor license arrangements at Patriot Place and Legacy Place, Richards said. The petition was introduced at the Boston City Council meeting in August; if approved by the council and the mayor, it will go on to the state Legislature. Having 13 licenses available at once would be rare. The last time so many were available was in 2OO6, when the state awarded the city 2O new licenses. At press time, the petition was still pending.

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