With Splitsville Luxury Lanes planning a new location at Patriot Place, the selectmen are finding the liquor license transfer for the bowling alley to be a bit tricky. After the last liquor license transfer for Saga Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, the selectmen are hoping for a clearer process this time around.
“I think at best it was confusing last time and we got though it because people wanted the Japanese restaurant. It wasn’t a huge issue but in my mind at the time I said, ‘If this thing happens again, I need some understanding of it,’” selectman Jim DeVellis said.
To help with the process, the selectmen voted 5-0 recently to hire Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP as special council to review the liquor license transfer application with respect to the lease agreement.
Due to the potential changes related to the stadium’s footprint in the application, selectman Lorriane Brue requested that special council take a look at the application.
“I was talking about getting special council to review the situation to help us be clear to what it is exactly we’re looking at,” Brue said.
The law firm does have experience with liquor licenses. According to selectman Ginny Coppola, the group is responsible for developing the liquor license for the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham and the language was later use in the legislation for the Legacy Place liquor licenses in Dedham.
“I was impressed because they have dealt with issues with an entertainment shopping area with a lot of restaurants which is similar to Patriot Place. I think they know what the town would be dealing with,” Coppola said.
Selectman John Grey supported the use of special council to look at the request to better understand the process.
“I think if we tackle this one without special council then shame on us because there are some complexities to it we’re unaware of,” Grey said.
The selectmen would also like to look at the liquor license approval process and see what is in the town's best interest.
“It’s time to catch our breath, look at our liquor licensing procedures and see what is best for our town,” Grey said.
According to acting town manager Bob Cutler, the application for the transfer was filed on Sept. 30 and is being vetted by the selectmen’s office. The issue will likely be added on Oct. 29 meeting although chairman Mark Sullivan said it could be addressed earlier if extra meetings are added.