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Needham Board of Selectmen approve liquor regulations

Posted by Evan Allen  December 19, 2012 02:10 PM

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The Needham Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday night to approve regulations for the town’s new off-site liquor licenses, according to Sandy Cincotta, town support services manager.

The historically dry town voted in November to allow the sale of alcohol at package stores, and the regulations include rules about the hours alcohol can be sold and the age requirements for employees.

Needham is now allowed six liquor licenses, and will get an extra two in 2018. No more than six at a time will permit the sale of all alcohol.

There will be an open period for applications for off-premise liquor licenses starting next year on Jan. 7 at 9 a.m. and closing Jan. 18 at 4 p.m.

Package stores will be allowed to sell alcohol from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday and holidays, according to the new regulations. No sales are allowed on Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. The Board of Selectmen will have the final say on the hours for each individual store.

Convenience stores will not be granted liquor licenses. Food stores may only be issued wine and beer licenses, not all-alcohol licenses.

Employees directly involved in the sale of alcohol must be at least 21 years of age. Food store employees, however, who are over 18 but under 21, may handle, store or prepare alcoholic beverages, and may sell them as long as a manager who is at least 21 approves and authorizes the sale. A designated manager must always be present.

Alcohol deliveries must be made by employees who are at least 21.

No seating or tables are allowed in package stores. No consumption of alcohol is allowed within the store, except for sample tasting.

Package stores must maintain an updated employee roster that is available to the town.

Any employees who sell or handle alcoholic beverages must complete alcohol safety training, and must be recertified by a town-approved program once ever three years. New employees must complete training within 30 days. Employees must all watch a town-approved training video once a year.

The licensee must make sure that there is no loitering, disorder, disturbances or illegality on the premises. They will be held responsible even if they are not on the premises. The area surrounding the package store must be kept clean.

When deciding whether to grant a liquor license, the Board of Selectmen will consider the proximity to neighborhoods and other sensitive areas.

Alcohol-related signage will be limited, and will conform to town signage bylaws.

Stores that derive more than a quarter of their gross revenues from the sale of alcoholic beverages will not be allowed to advertise at local sporting events or school events, and will not be allowed to sponsor sporting teams where the uniforms carry the name or logo of the business.

Nips will not be directly accessible by customers.

For the full list of regulations, go here.

Evan Allen can be reached at

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