Watertown Issues First BYOB License, Others Applying for New Liquor Licenses

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Glass of Beer

Watertown now allows restaurants to apply for a bring-your-own alcohol license and the Licensing Board recently issued the first one.

Farmer’s Market Kitchen at 222 Arsenal St. had its application for a BYOB license approved, Town Clerk John Flynn told the Town Council at his budget hearing on Saturday. That means diners can bring in their own beer or wine had have it while they eat at the restaurant.

The Town Council approved the concept in September 2015 and it took effect April 1. They approved it in part because the town has a limited number of liquor licenses, and also because some people like to bring their own alcohol to make it more affordable or they have something in particular they want to enjoy with a meal.

Also, Watertown’s request for 15 additional liquor licenses for certain areas of town was approved by the State Legislature, and subsequently signed by the Gov. Charlie Baker. These licenses will have different rules from the other ones, including that they are limited to new growth areas and the business districts of town, and they cannot be sold or transferred.

Flynn said there has been some interest in the new licenses.

“Two applications have been received,” Flynn said, adding that they were from the Residence Inn by Marriott hotel going up on Arsenal Street, and from Wild Rice, the new venture on Elm Street by the owners of Red Lentil.

The Arsenal Center for the Arts has also inquired about getting a liquor license, Flynn said, and could be requesting one soon.

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