Liquor License Board to Ask Council to Relax BYOB Restrictions

The Haverhill License Commission plans to ask city councilors to relax restrictions on where bring your own bottle—or BYOB—restaurants may be located.

Last year, city councilors authorized commissioners to issue so-called “carry-in” licenses to businesses holding a common victualler license, which governs cooking, preparing and serving food; having 30 or fewer seats; and operating either downtown or associated with a non-profit arts and cultural organization. Since that time, a number of for-profit businesses outside of downtown have asked to be considered for the license.

One business requesting the change in rules is Bradford Swim and Recreation Center, 328 Salem St. Although managed by volunteers, Bradford Swim is technically a for-profit organization and is prohibited from allowing patrons to bring beer and wine to social events as they have for more than 50 years.

Commissioners voted Thursday night to ask city Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. to draft amendments to the city ordinance for considerations by the city council. Should city councilors approve changes, the commission would draft further regulations to meet the concerns of police and other businesses already holding liquor licenses.