Restaurant Letter Grades

In school, letter grading was straight forward: A+ for excellent, C for average, F for failing. Restaurant letter grades may not be so easy to understand, and implementation of the restaurant letter grading system garners plenty of complaints and criticism, especially in New York City. Serious Eats interviewed a number of chefs, restaurant owners, and […]

Creative Mixology

Classic cocktails may be making a comeback (see our earlier blog post), but don’t overlook the need for creative mixology as well. For many bar and restaurant patrons, new and different is the name of the game. Sure, there are folks who order the same drink every time or who define variety by ordering something […]

Projected Restaurant Job Growth

Despite a flat third quarter, projected restaurant job growth is positive and trending in the right direction. According to National Restaurant Association (NRA), the industry added 27,000 jobs in the third quarter, considerably fewer than the second quarter gain; however, restaurant job growth is expected to be above three percent again for the year, as […]

Vodka Popularity Growing

The national drink of Russia is now leading in the U.S. as well. Vodka popularity is growing. In fact, vodka is now the most popular spirit in America. Ten of the top 24 spirits brands in the U.S. are vodkas, according to Bernstein Research and reported by CNBC. More surprising? The top five slots on […]

Beer Sales Rising

Fall means football, Octoberfest and, subsequently, beer. The good news for brewers: Beer sales are rising again. The economic downturn and a movement by the Millennials away from beer toward wine and other spirits caused beer sales to lag. However, according to USA Today’s “Beer sales starting to foam up,” the industry’s downward trend has […]

Restaurant Reaction after the Shutdown

Breathe a sigh of relief – the federal government is open for business again. The restaurant reaction after the shutdown brings relief… to some degree. Delaware North and Xanterra are both rejoicing. Those names may not ring a bell, but they are both concessionaires in some of the nation’s most popular national parks, including Yosemite, […]

Bars and Restaurants near Fenway

Fenway Bar & Restaurant Guide Boston Red Sox fans will find plenty of bars and restaurants near Fenway Park. If you want to raise a glass before or after the game because baseball and beer go together so well, but find beer prices at Fenway to be unreasonable, there are plenty of other choices around […]

Boston Baseball and Beer

Americana is often defined as apple pie and baseball, but don’t overlook the pairing of baseball and beer. And in Boston, it doesn’t get any better than toasting the Red Sox in the World Series with a beer. America’s favorite pastime and beer grew together with the ongoing expansion of the United States. The origin […]

Common Restaurant Employee Fraud

Restaurant employee fraud and theft occur in several ways. Don’t think that the only ways fraud and theft occur is by stealing from the till or eating food without paying for it. There are a number of ways employee theft can occur in your restaurant or bar that may not have occurred to you. Refunds: […]

Coffee Cocktails Gaining in Popularity

Certainly there are wine snobs, beer snobs, and coffee snobs. Put them together and witness a growth in coffee cocktails. Irish coffee (with Irish whiskey) or Mexican coffee (substitute Kahlua® or a similar coffee liqueur for the whiskey) simply don’t cut it any longer. Patrons are looking for more creative coffee cocktails and not simply […]

Increase in Section 15 Liquor Licenses in Massachusetts

State law went into effect that increases the number of Section 15 liquor licenses (off premise/retail) licenses that one individual or business may own. The increase went from three licenses to five with steps in place to raise that maximum in 2016 and again in 2020. Section 15 Liquor License Regulations Under Massachusetts Alcohol Beverages […]

Walmart Selling More Beer

When you think of Walmart, you probably don’t think of beer… at least up until this point. However, according to Bloomberg, the mega retailer is moving aggressively to grab its share of a U.S. industry worth $45 billion, and Walmart is selling more beer. In fact, the retailer revealed at a September 2012 “adult beverage […]

Government Shutdown Effect on Restaurants

Effects of the government shutdown have been in all the headlines, and the restaurant industry is not immune. The government shutdown effect on restaurants reaches far beyond Washington D.C. and has even forced some restaurants to close. Of course, with the closure of national parks across the country, famed restaurants inside the parks, including the […]

Classic Cocktails Making a Comeback

The classic cocktails of the 1950s are making a comeback. Some believe the impact of the hit TV show Mad Men is the force behind it, in much the same way that Sex and the City created the Cosmopolitan boom in bars and clubs across the country a decade or more ago. Although some cocktail […]

Boston Mayoral Candidates’ Position on Liquor Licensing

With the Boston mayoral candidate field narrowed to two – state Representative, Marty Walsh and City Councilor, John Connolly – we’d like to share their positions on liquor licensing. As regulation stands today, Boston has been at the maximum threshold for liquor licenses for years, which creates high demand and even higher prices and fees. […]

Restaurant Failures: Locations and Other Reasons

Say, didn’t that restaurant used to be “insert any name here”? Restaurant failure is commonplace, and throughout the country, there are some locations that see a rotating door of different restaurants attempting to find success where others have failed in the same location. Cursed location? Inexperience in the food service industry?  A combination? A recent […]

Restaurant and Bar Spending Increases

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, spending at bars and restaurants is on the increase. The restaurant and bar spending increase is 3.9 percent in the first six months of 2013 compared to the same time frame a year ago. It’s feeding restaurant and bar owners’ confidence. Sales in the first quarter were up 4.5 […]

Fake IDs: Both Sides of Technology

Fake IDs on college campuses are nothing new. It’s an ongoing struggle between students procuring fake IDs to buy alcohol or gain access to bars and clubs, and bar and club owners being extra vigilant to spot fake IDs to protect their liquor licenses. Fake IDs are big business. In August 2013, a Clarke County, […]

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Notification

Despite all of the confusion and back-and-forth political posturing with threats to defund Obamacare, like it or not, open enrollment begins Oct. 1… unless Congress moves to delay yet another portion of the controversial Affordable Care Act. Regardless, as a restaurant or bar owner, pay attention and comply with current requirements despite the moving target […]

E-Cigarettes: Smokeless or Not?

After years of being relegated to the outdoors for an after-dinner smoke, restaurant-goers are lighting up at the table again… or are they? E-cigarettes are becoming more mainstream, and with that, are creating issues for restaurants and workplaces across the country. Electronic Cigarettes The electronic cigarette or e-cigarettes are a type of electronic nicotine delivery […]

Automatic Tipping and the IRS: Impact on Restaurants

Automatic tipping tends to be a hot-button item but is making the news now because of a change in the tax code. The IRS will change the classification of automatic tips to service charges and treat them as regular wages which would be subject to payroll withholding tax starting in the new year. Previously, these […]

US Postal Service Seeks to Deliver Alcohol

US Postal Service Alcohol Delivery Could Raise Much Needed Revenue but is Criticized by Some The United States Postal Service seeks to deliver alcohol reports The Huffington Post.  The Postmaster General, Patrick Donahue, estimates that such a move could bring in as much as $50 million in revenue to the agency.  This is all while […]

Case Study: Overcoming Time Constraints and Encumberances

Client: Our Boston client, a recently closed restaurant/bar in the financial district, seamlessly renewed their license while awaiting transfer approval. Challenge: The Financial District restaurant/bar closed after two years in business. Upon closing, the lender had foreclosed on the license and was in need of local counsel, valuation, and marketing of the license – the […]

Health Care Requirements and Deadlines

By David Heather Regional Vice President, The Householder Group Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance exchanges (Exchanges). Open enrollment under the Exchanges will begin on Oct. 1, 2013.  ACA requires employers to provide all new hires and […]

Assessing the “Public Need” of a Liquor License

By John P. Connell, Esq. Law Offices of John P. Connell, P.C. In order to acquire a liquor license for a location not previously licensed, you must demonstrate “public need.” There may be both support and opposition regarding your application. Several factors are considered when assessing “public need.” Acquiring a liquor license for a location […]

New Liquor License for Chains

Utah adds new liquor license for chains Protection against Liquor License Shortages The Salt Lake City Tribune reports on a new category of liquor license now available in Utah which makes it easier for chain restaurants to sell alcohol.  The new liquor license for chains, which came into effect in May, allows chain holders to […]

Bipartisan Liquor Licensing Boards

Bipartisan Liquor Licensing Boards a Must Massachusetts State Law affects make up of Licensing Boards The Salem News reports on how a little known law in Massachusetts that requires licensing boards in the state to have at least one Democrat and one Republican is affecting the makeup of boards in Beverly and Salem. The state […]

Boston City Council Public Hearing on Home Rule Petition & Liquor License Process: August 14, 2013

Home Rule Petition to Return Authority of the Liquor License Process to the City of Boston Offered by Councilor Pressley Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 14, 2013 @ 2pm.  During this public hearing, Boston City Council will discuss the recent Home Rule Petition filed by Councilor Ayanna Pressley to change the current Liquor License […]

Pennsylvania may approve out of state direct to home wine shipments

Pennsylvania may approve out of state direct to home wine shipments The Morning Call of Leigh Valley, Pennsylvania reports that there is growing bipartisan support in the Pennsylvania Legislature to legalize direct shipment of wines from out of state wineries to people’s homes in the state.  The Legislature is currently also in midst of largely […]

Guns in North Carolina Bars

Guns in North Carolina Bars Slate.com reports that North Carolina is on the brink of allowing people  with conceal-carry permits to bring guns into the state’s bars, as long as bar owners allow the practice.  The Legislature has passed the bill recently and the state’s governor is set to sign it into law soon, joining […]

Cambridge may raise some liquor license fees

Cambridge may raise some liquor license fees Boston.com reports on a proposed liquor fee hike in Cambridge that has some restaurants in the city upset.  The proposed changes would double the annual fees of Cambridge’s “no value” liquor licenses, which the city issued to stimulate restaurant development in areas of the city like Kendal Square.  […]

Tampering with alcoholic beverages

Massachusetts General Law 101: Tampering with alcoholic beverages Section 16 of the Massachusetts Liquor Control Act (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 138) deals with the tampering with and dilution of alcoholic beverages in Massachusetts by liquor license holders.  The text of the law reads as follows. Any person holding a license under section twelve, thirteen, fourteen […]

Innovative Straws and Cups to Detect Date Rape Drugs

Bostonian invents straws and cups to detect date rape drugs WGBH News reports on a Boston man’s invention of a straws and cups that are able to detect date-rape drugs in drinks.  Currently working out of the MassChallenge office space in Boston’s Innovation District, Michael Abramson’s idea, now a company called DrinkSavvy, came after he […]

Revere Extending Closing Time for Restaurants and Bars

Revere extending closing time for restaurants and bars The Revere Journal reports that the Revere License Commission voted last week to extend the city’s closing time from 1am to 2am.  In 2007, the same commission, but with two different members, had voted to roll back the closing time from 2am with the change first effective […]

Proposed Bill Allows Bars and Liquor Stores to Sue Underage Buyers

In Wisconsin, a proposed bill allows bars and liquor stores to sue underage buyers A bill working its way through the Wisconsin Legislature would allow bars and other alcohol purveyors to sue underage drinkers reports the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.  The proposed bill, which passed a committee vote unanimously in April, allows bars and liquor stores […]

Sobriety Checkpoint Laws around the country

Sobriety checkpoint laws around the country Most states in the country conduct sobriety checkpoints on their roads throughout the year.  According to data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, 38 states, including Massachusetts, plus Washington, D.C, the US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands conduct field sobriety tests annually.   The frequency and timing varies […]

Economic Impact of Hangovers

Economic Cost of Hangovers BostInno reports on the economic impact of hangovers.  BostInno cites an article in The Atlantic which pegs the cost of excessive drinking at $1.90 in lost economic productivity per each drink consumed.  That is more than $220 billion per year (from figures in a 2006 Centers for Disease Control study). The […]

Charging Bars for Police Response

Town could begin charging bars for police response Shore News Today reports on special provisions that Cape May, New Jersey recently attached to its approval of the liquor licenses for several establishments in the town.   The regulations require that bars have a specific amount of bouncers on weeknights and weekend nights during the summer months […]

Cancellation of liquor license after business closes

Cancellation of Liquor License after business closes Section  77 of Chapter 138 (Massachusetts Alcohol Laws) of the Massachusetts General Law gives cities and towns the right to revoke liquor licenses of establishments after they cease operation.  The text of the law is as follows: The licensing authorities may, after hearing or reasonable opportunity therefor, cancel […]

Dry Towns in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) reports on its website that there are eight “dry” towns in the state.  These “dry” communities do not allow the sale of alcohol in liquor stores or in bars/restaurants.  These towns have no issued liquor licenses, though it is still legal to consume alcohol in a private residence.  […]

Earlier Hours on Sunday for MA Liquor Stores?

MA Liquors stores could open earlier on Sundays Massachusetts Liquor stores could be allowed to open before noon on Sundays if a Legislative proposal is approved reports The Lowell Sun.  The proposal is being offered because liquor stores in Rhode Island and Connecticut are allowed to open before noon. While the Massachusetts Package Stores Association […]

Local Board overrules ABCC Decision on Alcohol Sting Operation

Know the law and  how to successfully pass a liquor sting operation. Brookline Patch reports that the Brookline Board of Selectman last month voted to overrule a Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission ruling that stated an underage alcohol sting program conducted by the town was illegal.  The ABCC had ruled in favor of the store […]

New Bedford Liquor Licenses over Quota

Are you looking to capitalize on your New Bedford Liquor License? SouthCoastToday.com reports that the city of New Bedford is over its state-imposed limit of all-alcohol licenses by 23.  The immediate unavailability of a liquor licenses can be an obstacle in opening or expanding your establishment. Urban Grille at 774 Purchase St. has been looking […]

Mass Liquor License Quota & Categories 101

The Liquor License Quota system & Categories in Massachusetts The Massachusetts Liquor Control Act places a quota or limit on the number of alcoholic beverages licenses a city or town can issue. The quota is based on the population of the community as determined by the most recent federal census of 2010.  The following is […]

Fine wine on tap, please! Innovative MA based wine keg disbributor experiencing growth.

A whole new kind of keg party… The Boston Business Journal reports this week on the growth of the Boston-based wine-distributor start-up company Richer Pour.  Richer Pour distributes “high quality, low-cost tap” wine in kegs that are environmentally friendly.  The wine keg is recyclable, reducing the cost for distributing thus lowering the cost of the […]

Will a blog set up to keep tabs on city’s liquor board improve functionality?

Baltimore Brew reports on a new blog that has been established in Baltimore to document the activities of the city’s Liquor Board after a scathing State of Maryland audit of the board’s activities revealed many inadequacies in how it functions. Under-performing and yet over-staffed, failing to follow state law in awarding licenses, prematurely closing out […]

The Ins and Outs of Getting (and Keeping) a License

By Gene Richard,Esq. Wayne, Richard & Hurwitz, LLP A business cannot legally sell alcoholic beverages at retail to consumers without a valid liquor license. Since profits from sales of alcoholic beverages can “make or break” a typical restaurant, hotel, club or package store, getting – and keeping – that retail liquor license is vitally important. […]

Controlling Liquor Cost

By Robert P. Kiley Chief Executive Officer, Restaurant Accounting Services Most restaurateurs know how to control their liquor cost. However, due to the fact that some of the “controls” can be cumbersome and time-consuming, the key controls are often skipped, and costs skyrocket. Industry studies consistently show that 25 to 30 percent of a bar’s […]

Case Study: Improving Net Proceeds

Client: Our client was a Boston/Roxbury neighborhood fixture for more than 50 years. This local tavern would open early during the day and close late at night, so everyone had a chance to enjoy the food, music, and laid-back atmosphere. This was the kind of tavern where friends and family would gather, and customers became […]

NRA Show Trends & One of the Biggest Issues Facing Restaurant Operators

Dan Newcomb, Principal of Atlantic License Brokers, recently attended the 2013 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.  Walking many miles of the show floor alongside two current, successful full service restaurant owners provided Dan with a direct perspective of the pressing issues facing operators today. In addition to many new products and restaurant industry trends, […]

Mass ABCC Update Process to Speed up Liquor License Transfers

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) has adopted a new process, effective May 28th, 2013, to speed up the approval process for retail liquor license applications.  Under the Mass. Liquor Control Act, retail liquor licenses cover three categories:  On-Premise (a pouring license, Off-Premise (a package store license), and Special (a one-day license). One of […]

MIT Invents Robotic Bartender

Eater Boston reports (via Gigaom.com) that researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in partnership with Baccardi and Coca Cola, have invented a Smartphone-controlled robot bartender.  Called Makr Shakr, it was unveiled this week at Google’s  I/O conference. The apparatus has three robot arms, whose movements were modeled after those of an Italian ballet […]

Lowering of Blood Alcohol Content Regulations

NBC News reports that the National Transportation Safety Board recently voted to urge states to lower the threshold for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) which constitutes drunken driving.  Currently the limit is .08, but the recommendation is to lower it to .05 to reduce drunken driving incidents.  The article reports that nearly 4 million people in […]

“You Need a Permit for That?”

Some Practical Tips for Local Permitting By Andrew Upton, Esq. DiNicola, Seligson & Upton, LLP Reprinted with Permission from the Boston Bar Journal, a publication of the Boston Bar Association. Local permitting is not for the faint of heart. There are no law school classes on the subject, few relevant continuing legal education courses, and […]

Defending Your Bottom Line

By Russ Bubas President, Data Quest, LTD You may be going out of business and not even know it. Every restaurateur and bar owner is cautioned against silent partners. Over the thirty years we’ve been in business, we’ve encountered literally thousands of them, some of whom have actually put the owners out of business. Some […]

Case Study: Re-arranging Licenses

CLIENT OVERVIEW: The client company is an established national restaurant chain that has been in business for more than 30 years, with growing franchise numbers. They specialize in creating an atmosphere designed specifically for adults that combines the best elements of a bar, restaurant, and casino under one roof for a unique and inclusive dining […]

Maryland Liquor License Hearings Make Use of Skype

Parkville-Orlea Patch reports on how the local county liquor board is using Skype to improve its liquor licensing hearing process.  The use of Skype started recently and is seen as a way to ease the hearing process for things such as board of director change hearings for liquor licenses holders, particularly large chains with headquarters […]

The Rise of Bitcoins in Bars – digital currency

A New York City bar has recently started to accept a new digital currency called Bitcoins for its customer’s tabs reports Marketwatch.com recently. On Sunday, EVR bar and lounge in New York will start accepting Bitcoins for drinks and food. “We have to train all the waitresses,” says Charlie Shrem, a partner at the club. […]

iPhone App expedites alcohol ordering

A new iPhone app called Drizly has recently started to debut in private alpha mode in Boston.  This app allows one to place an order for beer, wine, or liquor and have it delivered to one’s house within 60 minutes or less.  From the Drizly website. In June of 2012, we asked the question “why […]

Drew Bledsoe pushes for changes in Mass. Wine Shipment Law

CBSBoston.com reports that former Patriots quarterback and Washington State vineyard owner Drew Bledsoe was in Boston late last month to lobby the Massachusetts Legislature to allow out of state wineries to ship wine directly to Massachusetts consumers. Current Mass. Law only allows in-state winemakers to make such shipments.   This law was ruled unconstitutional three […]

Boston Could Get Craft Beer Bar With Arcade Games

Boston Magazine’s Steve Annear reports that Boston could soon get a Barcade, a casual craft beer bar mixed with classic video arcade games. The founders have been looking into expanding and a location in Boston, Cambridge, or Somerville is something they’ve been eyeing. The original Barcade started in Brooklyn in 2004 after Kermizian and friends […]

Craft Beer-only License

DNAInfo.com in Chicago reports that a proposal to allow the licensing of stores to sell only craft beer was strongly opposed by representatives of Budweiser (parent company AmBev) and has since been changed to allow for the sale of non craft beer in stores holding these licenses as well. The original no-domestics provision in the proposed liquor […]

Drinking games defined by ABCC

The Boston Herald reports that the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission has issued a ruling on how “water pong” is defined as a drinking game in Massachusetts.  The ABCC case stemmed from a ruling from the Boston Licensing Board regarding several Boston bars, including The Good Bar on State Street that were cited by Licensing […]

Happy Opening Day with Reduced Beer at Fenway!

The Boston Globe reported last week that the Boston Red Sox will offer reduced price concession items for the month of April, including reduced priced beer. Kids under 14 will eat free — well, before the third inning, provided they go to specially designated concession stands to pick up their Fenway Frank, Goldfish, and carton […]

Upcoming Seminar: 2013 Alcohol, Food & Entertainment Licensing & Liability Update

Are you aware of recent legal updates that may impact your restaurant or store’s liquor license? Do you have questions about the liquor license approval process? If so, make sure to attend the following valuable seminar panel by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE).   Alcohol, Food & Entertainment Licensing & Liability Update 2013 April 11, […]

Massachusetts ABCC Regulations and Decisions

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission’s website spells out the mission of the ABCC and what it is authorized to do. …to promulgate regulations clarifying, carrying out, enforcing and preventing any violation of the provisions of M.G.L. c. 138…These regulations (such as “Happy Hour” and “Tap a Keg”)  control the method by which a business […]

Facebook Enters the Wine Business

Social media giant Facebook has entered the wine selling business.  The wine sales are part of Facebook’s new gift store, which the company has been rolling out since the fall of last year.  When a consumer places an order in the gift store, the recipient receives an email or a notice on their Facebook wall.  […]

Control Over Liquor License Fees in Massachusetts

The Wellesley Townsman details in a recent article how much the different types of liquor licenses in Wellesley cost per year.  For example, restaurants with an all alcohol license must pay a $3600 annual fee, restaurants with a function room and all alcohol license must pay $5,000 each year, restaurants with a beer and wine […]

Regulations on Complimentary Drinks at Hotel Check-In

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission expressed in its frequently asked questions section (#47) of its website that “a bar, restaurant or hotel cannot offer any free drinks.  However, a bar, restaurant, or hotel can include a drink as part of a meal package under certain circumstances.” The “certain circumstances” section of this regulation was […]

Massachusetts Regulations that Affect Liquor License Holders

Massachusetts liquor regulations require that the local licensing authorities be notified in a timely fashion of any changes to the name on a restaurant, bar, club, or hotel’s liquor license.  The license holders are also required to petition the board immediately and appear before the local licensing board.   This hearing gives the local licensing authority […]

The Important Role of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission’s Investigation and Enforcement Division

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission’s Investigation and Enforcement Division plays an important role in the agency’s enforcement of the liquor laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The division is charged with preventing the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages to underage individuals, preventing the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages to intoxicated individuals and […]

Boston Bars Cited for Not Serving Food

Universal Hub reports that the Boston Licensing Board is getting tough with bars with food-serving permits (common victuals licenses) that are not currently serving food.  In some cases the bars have not been serving food for years. At January hearings, bar owners and managers owned up and said they’d stopped serving food because their patrons […]

The Controversy of Drinking Games in Bars

The Boston Herald reports on the case of a Boston bar that was penalized by the Boston Licensing Board earlier this year for the presence of a drinking game called water pong at the establishment.   The bar was also cited for the presence of underage drinking.   The Herald article refers to a 2009 Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages […]

Later Public Transit Service Could Help Restaurants and Bars

The Boston Herald reports that state transportation officials have indicated that later public transit service could be in the works if lawmakers find a way to help raise all of the money needed for    system maintenance and other service improvements.  The Herald reports that an extra hour of service could be possible on Fridays and […]

MIT Develops Ice Cubes that Track Alcohol Consumption

BostInno reports on new invention from the MIT Media lab that helps track the effects of alcohol on consumers.  The invention is electronic ice cubes that glow different colors depending on the amount of alcohol consumed by the drinker at a bar.  The ice cubes can also alert a friend via a text message that […]

Open Bars and Happy Hour – Similar Regulations in Mass

Thinking of hosting an “open bar” special at your restaurant, bar or club simply as a promotion?  Think again! The Boston Herald reported after the New Year that several Boston bars and entertainment venues were cited by Boston Police on New Year’s Eve for having open bars at their celebration, in violation of Massachusetts Liquor […]

Buying Wine Online in Massachusetts

A Boston Globe editorial this week called on the Massachusetts Legislature to relax the state’s alcohol laws to allow out-of-state wineries to ship their product directly to Massachusetts consumers.  The state is in fact in violation of a 2006 US Supreme Court decision that invalidated state laws prohibiting wineries located outside of states from shipping […]

ABCC Aims to Streamline the Liquor Licensing Process

The 2011-2012 Annual Report of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) highlights several changes in the liquor licensing process that have been initiated by the agency over the last several years.  Some have been implemented (new website, online license application forms, more efficient accounting, and organization practices) and some are coming in the near […]

Mass. Legislature Happy Hour Report due in January

Happy Hour report due in January The 2011-2012 Annual Report of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) indicates that the agency’s Happy Hour law study commissioned by the Massachusetts Legislature in the 2011 gaming (casino) act should be completed by January 31, 2013 (Legislation requires it be submitted by June 30th, 2013).  The casino […]

Restaurant Company Faces Backlash Over Changing Employee Status to Save Money on Healthcare

Restaurant Company faces backlash over changing employee status Darden Restaurants Inc. (Red Lobster, The Capital Grille, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Yard House) has decided not to change any of its full time employees to part time status at this time to save money on healthcare benefits reports The Associated Press.   The company earlier in 2012 […]

Craft Beer Sales at Massachusetts Farmer’s Markets

BostInnovation’s Steve Annear  that Massachusetts State Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton) plans to file legislation next year to allow for local craft beer sales at Massachusetts Farmer’s Markets and other agricultural events.      Legislation was passed in 2010 allowing for Massachusetts wineries the opportunity to sell at the same venues and was met with much […]

How Will New Healthcare Laws Affect the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry?

How will new healthcare law affect the hospitality industry? Starting on January 1, 2014 one of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require companies with 50 or more full time employees not offering health insurance to those full time workers to pay a $2000 penalty for each uninsured employee (excluding the first […]

Change Could Come to Massachusetts Liquor License Regulations

BostInno’s Steve Annear reports today on the efforts of elected officials in Massachusetts to change the liquor licensing regulations in the state. One of the main ideas explored is a bill filed by State Senator James Eldrige of Action to allow individual cities and towns, not the state, to determine how many liquor licenses are […]

Surprising Support for the Current “Happy Hour” Law!

  As a follow up to our previous post, many prominent restaurant owners voiced support for the current “Happy Hour” law that prohibits drink specials.  Read the following Boston Herald article by Donna Goodison as well as a BostInno post from Dave Eisenberg for the response from the 4th planned public ABCC hearing to discuss […]

The ABCC wants to know what you think about “happy hour!”

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission is coming to you to discuss the controversial Massachusetts “happy hour” law that has been in effect for 28 years.  Find out about local hearings and what restaurateurs and professional trade organizations think about the pros and cons of updating the bill and the threat of area casinos. Read the […]

Sales Growth in the Restaurant Industry

The National Restaurant Association key indicators suggest that the restaurant industry continues to “pull the wagon” on the nation’s economic recovery. Read more in the report about the National Restaurant Industry’s Performance Index http://www.rmgtmagazine.com/content/operators-optimistic-about-sales-growth-coming-months    

Time to Sell?

  When a restaurant has past its prime in the restaurant lifecycle, the worst thing that you can do is hope that things are going to get better. Hope is not a strategy! Read more in the follow open forum article by Barry Moltz: http://www.openforum.com/articles/is-it-time-to-sell-your-business  

Boston Liquor Licenses for Sale – From Logan Airport!

Massachusetts Bill’s Passing Frees up more Boston Licenses  Just signed by Governor Deval Patrick this week – H. 99, “An Act Authorizing The Licensing Board For The City of Boston To Grant Restricted Airport Licenses For The Sale Of All Alcoholic Beverages and For The Sale Of Wines And Malt Beverages At Logan International Airport” […]

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Boston Wine & Malt Back Bay 100,000 Available