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Finish Line in Sight for Tea House Liquor License

The Wenham Board of Selectmen unanimously backed an all-alcoholic liquor license on Tuesday.

The Wenham Tea House moved oh-so-close to getting a liquor license on Tuesday night after getting an OK from the Wenham Board of Selectmen.

Nobody spoke about the license application in front of the Board of Selectmen during a public hearing at Wenham Town Hall. The entire hearing lasted less than 10 minutes.

The previous operator of the Wenham Tea House chose not to renew the lease and left last December. When Henry’s of North Beverly and its owner, John Koehane, decided it wanted to take over the Tea House operations he said he also wanted to have a pouring license. The Tea House previously had a so-called “package store license” that allowed bottled wine to be sold.

The process of getting a pouring license for the Tea House has, so far, been a seven-month long process. Voters first approved the sending the measure to Beacon Hill as a Home Rule Petition in a Special Town Meeting vote in February. It was passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in June.

The license would be limited only to the Wenham Tea House and could not be transferred or sold.

Henry’s owner John Keohane was represented by Beverly attorney Tom Fallon at Tuesday’s hearing.

“It’s a good crowd over there,” Fallon said, referencing the Tea House’s location across Main Street from Town Hall, within sight of the Selectmen’s meeting room.

The hours will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday plus 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, he said. For special events, the license could be used up to 10 p.m.

Monday was also added to the license in the case that a holiday or special event would mean the Tea House would be open on a Monday.

All 14 Henry’s Market employees that will also work at the Tea House have taken Training for Intervention Procedures, or TIPS.

“There should be some comfort there,” Fallon said.

Molly Martins, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the Tea House’s liquor license application is complete except that all the TIPS certification paperwork needs to be handed in a criminal record checks still need to come back.

The board unanimously gave its OK to the license contingent that the remaining paperwork is submitted.

The application now goes to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission for final approval.

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