Jamaica Plain businesses and restaurants might soon have more liquor licenses available thanks to legislation recently passed by the state Legislature.
Increasing the amount of City liquor licenses has been a pet issue for At-Large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. She has criticized the lack of licenses available for neighborhood businesses, saying too many are going downtown. City liquor licenses are regulated by the state government, a controversial relic of state control over the city.
“This is a victory! Restaurants are transformative tools in building community and wealth. With the passage of this legislation, there will now be an equity in opportunity for every neighborhood to thrive,” Pressley said in an email to supporters.
The legislation, which awaits Gov. Deval Patrick’s signature, would give the City 75 more liquor licenses spread over three years. Sixty of the licenses would go to JP, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Mission Hill and Roxbury, as well as Main Street districts. The other 15 licenses would be issued across the city.
The legislation stems from a home rule petition Pressley filed and that was passed by the City Council in 2013. The councilor started work on the issue three years ago, gathering feedback from residents and restaurant and business owners.
“The system is broken and many said it couldn’t be fixed; we shouldn’t even try. But in the best interest of our neighborhoods, I knew it was a fight worth taking on. We can’t have healthy communities without thriving main streets, and restaurants are critical economic anchors,” she said in the email.