A Legal Guide to Opening a Restaurant with an Alcoholic Beverage License

Opening a restaurant can be the fulfillment of a long-sought dream, but success does not happen by accident. It is the product of detailed planning. One must consider all legal, business, financial and operational factors to cultivate an environment for the restaurant to thrive. This guide is intended to educate prospective restaurateurs of the generic legal considerations one will encounter and equip them with the tools to provide the best opportunity for the successful launch of a restaurant with an alcoholic beverage license in Massachusetts. 

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A Not-So-Surprising Shift in the Massachusetts Brewing Industry

Night Shift Brewing, one of the more successful and entrepreneurial breweries in Massachusetts,  is set to launch their own beer distribution company. Based in in Everett, Night Shift has built their brand from the ground up. They developed an allegiance of customer support that travels near and far to their taproom in order to enjoy their wildly popular beers. In 2014 they moved into a 30,000 square foot facility in Everett with a large taproom. Their beers became so popular that they recently opened an expanded taproom area to accommodate the nightly influx of eager patrons. During this time, the brewery has always self-distributed its own product. Weary of the long-term relationship that is created once entering into a distribution arrangement with a wholesaler, they opted for full control with potentially less reach while building their brand. 

 

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'Tis the Season For Alcoholic Beverage License Renewals

If you own a restaurant, retail liquor store, brewery, or any other business with an alcoholic beverage license, you must renew this license during the month of November for the next year or risk its loss. Its a relatively easy process but errors or failure to renew can be a fatal blow to your business. Read more here and be sure to consult an experienced attorney to ensure your application is accurate and complete. 

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Legislating Liquor Laws: The Fallout

The Massachusetts Legislature put forth a number of proposals that would have significantly impacted the alcoholic beverage industry over the past legislative session, from the Governor's attempt to give municipalities authority over their own liquor license quotas, easing the laws governing distribution agreements between brewers and distributors, to further regulating alternative proprietorship arrangements. Let’s take a look at what they did and did not do:

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