Liquor license requests show business growth in Easthampton

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that Easthampton’s Licensing Board has been inundated with requests for liquor licenses over the last seven months, a change that board clerk Karen Cadieux sees as a sign of an upswing in the service industry in Easthampton.

“It’s been kind of crazy lately,” she said last week, a day after the board awarded a seasonal liquor license to Riff’s Joint in the Eastworks Building. “I think it means things are booming.”

Riff’s Joint will be able to serve wine, beer and hard alcohol from April 1 through Jan. 15 of each year.

The board also endorsed a request from Apollo Grill owner Casey Douglass to seek a legislative license in Boston above the city’s quota.

Douglass said he hopes to open another upscale restaurant at 60-62 Main St. in about a year if his license is approved by the City Council, the mayor and the state Legislature.

In the last seven months, the board has awarded the following licenses to city businesses: Riff’s Joint, seasonal all-alcohol; Glory of India Restaurant, all-alcohol; Luthier’s Co-op, beer and wine; Popcorn Noir, seasonal beer and wine. Popcorn Noir is seeking to change its license to allow the theater to sell hard alcohol seasonally, too.

A new bar, the Art Bar Cafe, is now open at the former Memorial Hall building at 1 Northampton St. Owners Alexei Levine and Valerie Hood secured an above-quota license from the state in 2010, but only opened the bar earlier this year. Levine told the Gazette that the bar will not have its grand opening for at least a few months.

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