Needham voted, and the local package store may soon get a bit more local.
From Jan. 7 to Jan. 18, the town will accept applications for the town's liquor licenses--officials designated this window the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday. The Board hopes to finish mulling over regulations for alcohol sales licenses by Dec. 18.
The window will allow interested businesses to apply, gives the public time to hear who applied, and give the Town time to notice the application hearings. As the licensing board in town the Board of Selectmen will review the applications at future meetings.
On Nov. 6, voters passed a measure to allow liquor sales in Needham. With approval of the ballot question, Needham has the ability to issue up to six licenses for the retail sale of beer, wine and liquor in town, with two additional wine and beer licenses available after 2018, for a total of eight.
Needham had been essentially dry since before Prohibition. Following the federal repeal of Prohibition, residents voted at the March 1934 Annual Town Meeting not to allow the sale of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages, reaffirming that decision at other votes throughout the 1930s and ‘40s.
Later decisions have allowed for alcohol to be served in Needham restaurants with more than 100 seats, and for wine and beer to be sold in smaller restaurants, and the Sheraton Hotel houses the only bar in town, which is allowed under a 1960s hotel exception.
In September, the Board of Selectmen voted to put the Alcohol Sales Question on a Special Nov. 6 Ballot, when voters passed the measure at the vote.