Select Board grants liquor license to ‘The Kitchen’

LONGMEADOW – The Longmeadow Kitchen is adding alcohol to its menu now that a license has been approved by the Select Board.

Owner Robert Barkett, represented by Attorney David B. Crevier, petitioned the Select Board for a full liquor license at a recent meeting. Crevier said the license is necessary for Barkett to remain competitive in the community.

“Mr. Barkett is in the position a lot of small restaurants are in now,” said Crevier. “You need a liquor license to survive in today’s environment.”

Crevier noted there are three restaurants in the nearby Longmeadow Shops that already hold liquor licenses – Bertucci’s, Max Burger and Ume. Barkett’s request for a liquor license will allow him to remain competitive, Crevier said.

All those serving alcohol at The Longmeadow Kitchen will be TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) certified. There will be no bar installed in the restaurant; alcohol will only be served to those seated for meals. The back portion of the restaurant has been re-arranged to accommodate a locked liquor locker and closed-circuit televisions so the area where liquor is dispensed can be monitored at all times. Crevier said the locker is equipped with a sensor that sends a text to Barkett’s cellphone every time it is opened.

While the Select Board supported the liquor license, approving it through a 4-0 vote, there was some discussion and debate about the hours alcohol would be available for patrons. The state statute restricts the sale of alcohol before 11 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and noon on Sundays. Barkett sought a variance from the Select Board that would allow him to extend the hours to 8 a.m. during the week and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Crevier said all other restaurants with liquor licenses are allowed to sell alcohol for the entire duration of their operating hours, so Barkett is seeking parity that would enable him to operate in a similar manner. He noted that often people coming in for breakfast want to order Bloody Marys or mimosas.

Selectman Mark Gold said he supports the idea of parity, but was hesitant as this variance could lead to other restaurants coming before the Select Board seeking licenses that allow them to serve alcohol early in the morning. Crevier pointed out that no other restaurants are open for breakfast, with all opening between 11 and 11: 30 a.m. Barkett opens The Longmeadow Kitchen at 7 a.m.

Gold also noted that when Ume sought a liquor license, he voted against it noting the proximity to the high school and the number of bars – and restaurants with liquor licensed – in the vicinity. In this case, Gold said he was planning to support the liquor license, mainly because the Huke Lau has since closed, meaning there is one less bar in the area.

After two failed votes on the extended hours, the Select Board did approve a motion that allows The Longmeadow Kitchen to serve alcohol at 10 a.m. on all days it is open. The Kitchen is located at 791 Williams St.

– Article by Sarah Leete Tsitso