Mayor Marty Walsh Seeks 150+ New Liquor Licenses for City of Boston

The proposal must be approved by the Boston City Council and the Massachusetts Legislature

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and City Councilor Ayanna Pressley submitted a proposal Monday seeking more than 150 new liquor licenses as part of an effort to attract new businesses and restaurants to the city.

"I am proud of this proposal that will give our small businesses in every corner of our city a better opportunity to grow and thrive," Walsh said in a statement. 

He said the "balanced approach" to licensing will ensure that neighborhoods that have historically been disadvantaged by the licensing process will receive their fair share of licenses. 

Pressley called the proposal "the next natural step in our push to reduce disparities in neighborhood sit-down restaurants across the city."

Walsh said the proposal will provide the city with 152 non-transferable liquor licenses to be phased in over the next three years. It limits the number of licenses that can go to neighborhoods like Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the North End to 30, while providing more than 100 new licenses to neighborhoods including Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill and Roxbury. 

It also includes liquor licenses for the Lawn on D and the Boston Center for the Arts.

The proposal is more than twice as large as a 2014 expansion that provided 75 new liquor licenses over three years. Most of those licenses have already been awarded.

Brothers Deli & Restaurant in Mattapan says it won't apply for a new license but new businesses in the neighborhood might end up helping their bottom line.

"I think it would be great if there was a bar. We'd be apt to stay open later at night to serve those who are coming out," said Greg Natale of Brother's.

Resident Marcia Wolff said while she's happy to hear the mayor talk about economic development, her biggest concern is what impact a bar could have on her quiet neighborhood.

"When you have the nightclubs up here, especially in our neighborhoods, there's always fights," Wolff said. "People don't know how to control their liquor."

The liquor license expansion must be approved by the Boston City Council and the Massachusetts Legislature.

Contact Us