Four New Liquor Licenses Coming

By Chris Wangler
June 30, 2023


State licensing officials have issued the City of Waltham four additional liquor licenses based on population increases in the 2020 Census.

The news was announced at Wednesday’s Waltham License Commission meeting by chair Wayne Brasco.

“We have four all-alcohol licenses that will be offered to legitimate restaurants in the community,” he said. “Anybody is welcome to apply.”

Waltham licensing officials must now determine the criteria for awarding the licenses, which currently have no cash value but could be a huge boon to businesses without them.

A notice will be posted in September, and interested parties can apply and appear before the commission.

Currently roughly half a dozen new restaurants are in touch with Waltham licensing officials about obtaining a license when one becomes available on the open market. 

But that practice remains controversial and prohibitive for smaller operators, as liquor licenses are scarce and can fetch as much as $200,000.

The four new licenses are certain to stir debate.

How will restaurant owners feel about free or cheap licenses if they purchased one for an inflated price? 

The new licenses have nothing to do with a separate effort to add 16 liquor licenses (including package store licenses) to the city’s inventory.

In 2018, the city council voted to petition state officials for the additional licenses, but that request still remains with the city’s law department.

File photos