Brickhouse Pizza Snags Final Dracut Liquor License
May 12, 2017 06:17AM
● By Andrew Sylvia
Brickhouse Pizza obtained an All Alcoholic Beverage License from the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night, currently the last such license that the board can give.
Attorney Joseph Clermont, representing Brickhouse, told the board that Brickhouse owner Mike Brown sought the license to provide beer as an option for his customers.
Opening in September 2015, recently Brickhouse also sought to expand into an adjacent unit in the plaza where it is located on Lakeview Avenue. However, the Planning Board recently denied a special permit that would allow that expansion. The denial came due to concerns with parking on the site.
With the denial, Brickhouse downsized the dimensions on its license request, reflecting its current size. Instead of 40 seats, the request indicated that Brickhouse has a seating capacity of 15, with one room instead of two, two entrances instead of four, and 1,010 sq. ft instead of 1,650.
Selectman Joseph DiRocco voiced concerns that the restaurant’s current size would make it difficult to afford fees for the license, which he put at $1,500. DiRocco also noted that giving this license would stop the board from giving it to another license that potentially could be a more appropriate candidate in terms of size.
Clermont challenged the paradoxical nature of this statement.
“I see it as a bit of a Catch 22 for my client,” said Clermont. “He’s told on one hand we’re not going to let you expand your restaurant due to traffic and parking. On the other hand, he’s told we’re going to limit your restaurant to 15 seats, but we’re not going to give you a liquor license because you’re too small.”
The conundrum faced by Brickhouse received sympathy from other members of the board, such as Tony Archinski, who became the board’s clerk for the upcoming year earlier in the meeting.
“I hate the idea that we’re going not allow someone who has invested a lot of money in a business the ability to make the business bigger,” said Archinski. “I have some issues with having only 15 seats where someone can have a pizza and do a couple of shots and then back out into Lakeview Ave. However, I think we owe it to the owner since we can’t offer him a beer and wine license, we should stop and think of what we’re doing when we’re trying to bring businesses into town.”
Clermont also told the board that there were no plans to move the business to a larger location.
The board voted 3-1-0 to approve the request, with DiRocco opposing and support from Archinski, Jesse Forcier and newly re-elected chairwoman Alison Hughes.
Currently, the state legislature is deliberating on home rule legislation that could provide four more licenses to Dracut.