Selectmen’s Burlington Board of Directors changed the city’s alcohol policy this week, to encourage smaller restaurants to open in the city.
Noting the proliferation of restaurant chains in Burlington, council voted to change the capacity from 120 seats to a 30-seat all-alcohol license. Restaurants will need to have 20 seats to obtain a beer and wine license.
Selectman Michael Runyan said the COVID pandemic has served as a reminder of how important restaurants and hotels are to the city’s operating budget, and that owners have reported difficulties finding restaurants ready to open due to the need for seats.
âIt is high time we made some policy adjustments,â he said. âI have all the confidence in the world that reducing the seat minimum is not going to put Burlington in a bad spot. I think we can stay on top. “
Japanese grill approved for wine and malt
In a separate hearing, the board approved a wine and malt license for a new restaurant, Gyu-kaku, which is slated to open at the Burlington Mall in June. The restaurant will be located in the satellite location that currently houses CafÃ© Nero and Sweetgreens.
Lawyer Mark Vaughan described the Japanese barbecue restaurant as part of a global chain of 700 people, three of whom are currently operating in Massachusetts.
âThey have a loyal following and provide a fun and exciting experience,â he said.
Customers cook thinly sliced ââmeat and other items at tables equipped with state-of-the-art smokeless roaster systems, Vaughan said.
Liquor license transfer
The board also approved the transfer of an all alcohol license from Legal Seafoods to the new entity which will continue to operate under this famous name.
Danu Partners, operators of Smith and Wollensky steakhouses and Strega restaurants, has purchased 23 Legal Seafood restaurants, including 19 in Massachusetts, according to a lawyer speaking on behalf of the group. The group has created PPX Hospitality Brands, which will own and operate restaurants throughout the greater Boston area.
Grant Trest, Managing Director of Legal Seafoods for the past nine years, said the plan was to keep the restaurant and staff “as they always have been.”
The license, as an asset of the PPX group, will be pledged to Northern Bank and Trust as part of the financing agreement. If the company were to default on the $ 95 million loan, the assets would belong to the bank and they could foreclose. The board should approve any transfer from the bank to a new establishment.