Tea House's Liquor License Works Through 'Technical Corrections'

A previous package store license issued to the Wenham Tea House needs to be "freed up" before state legislators can approve a new pouring license.

There can’t be two liquor licenses in one place.

And with that in mind, the Wenham Board of Selectmen on Tuesday OKed action by Interim Town Administrator Mark Andrews to submit “technical corrections” to pending legislation that will grant a liquor license to the .

In February, 130 voters met in a Special Town Meeting for a “pouring license” for the Tea House, which . It is , whose owner John Keohane sought a pouring license as part of his takeover of the operation.

The previous operator, Emma Roberts, had a package store license that allowed the Tea House to sell wine from a specific area of the Tea House. The law that allowed those sales, though, was so specific that it references the Tea House. So that license “needs to be freed up,” Andrews said, before state legislators take final action on granting a so-called pouring license to the Tea House.

Andrews said that the proposed changes to the legislation will be submitted to Wenham town legal counsel and the attorney for state Senator Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, who represents Wenham.

“From what I can see (the changes) can be done in a expeditious way,” Andrews said in an interview on Tuesday.

But Andrews said he could not rule out the possibility that another Special Town Meeting might be needed to allow the license to be issued if the changes to the legislation can not be done administratively. He said it remains a “legal question” that hasn’t yet been answered.

On May 8, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading. The bill has been “fast-tracked” and still needs the approval of the House of Representatives and the signature of Gov. Deval Patrick before alcohol can be poured at the Tea House.

Andrews said he did not have an exact timeline for how the bill may work its way through the rest of the legislative process and was not sure when it would be passed. He said he will keep the Board of Selectmen up to speed on the progress of the bill.

John Keohane May 17, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Robert, THANKYOU for your article,thinking that I would be informed of any issues pertaining to the Wenham Tea house, I am thankful for your efforts of informing the General population. John Keohane Henry's Fine Foods


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