Northampton Seeks Additional Licenses

The Northampton City Council agreed to adopt a resolution to create 5 new liquor licenses for 5 existing businesses. Mayor David Narkewicz hopes this is the first step in getting rid of the quota system, and giving local city and towns (like Northampton) the power to issue as many licenses as they see fit.

“There’s many customers that come in and once they find out we don’t have a full liquor license, they walk out,” Juan Suarez, Owner of Ibiza Tapas told ABC40. Ibiza Tapas was among the five restaurants who did not win the all-liquor license awarded to Bistro Les Gras back in September 2014. Mayor Narkewicz says filing this resolution is his way of addressing the “outdated, one size fits” all quota system for liquor licenses. Former Gov. Patrick supported ending the cap on the number of licenses last year but was it was rejected by the House.

Suarez also adds that if there were more licenses available, it would make for better and more restaurant competition.

“I think it will make all businesses more competitive, right now only a few have it, I think it just opens it up for everything to be more competitive,” Suarez said.

Council president Bill Dwight agrees saying, “I’m against the outdated licensing laws that create this unfair situation for the current holders. A state issued license should not be kept and sold as a commodity.”

The resolution is currently on its way to state legislators for further consideration.

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