Sunday alcohol sales at Westborough restaurants may head to Town Meeting

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Sunday alcohol sales at Westborough restaurants may head to Town Meeting
Restaurants like The Coop may be able to sell alcohol two hours earlier pending a vote at Town Meeting. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH – Restaurants may be able to sell alcohol two hours earlier on Sundays, pending a vote at Town Meeting this fall.

The Select Board discussed the draft warrant for October’s Town Meeting during their Aug. 23 meeting.

This is one of several articles that may be heading to Town Meeting.

“It sounds like a residual blue law thing where we couldn’t do anything on Sundays,” said Select Board Chair Ian Johnson.

According to Town Manager Kristi Williams, the town was approached by The Coop who asked if the license approved by the Select Board would allow the restaurant to open at 10 a.m. Sundays to serve alcohol.

“Currently it’s noon,” Williams said. “I know that there have been other restaurants in the past who have had this interest.”

To make this change, Town Meeting would have to accept this section of the law.

This section of the law specifically says that the local licensing authority that accepts it may authorize licensees to sell alcohol between 10 a.m. and noon on Sundays, the last Monday in May and Christmas Day or the following day when it falls on a Sunday.

Off-premise alcohol licenses — such as those for package stores — already allows for sales at this time without a vote at Town Meeting, according to Williams.

Williams was recommending that the Select Board place it on the warrant.

“In ways, it’s kind of a Sunday brunch-type, but it’s extending it for two hours on a Sunday for alcohol [sales],” said Johnson.

This change would apply to all restaurants.

The Select Board approved The Coop’s all-alcohol liquor license back in March.

The Coop, which is a restaurant that specializes in wings and barbecue, officially opened its new Westborough location at 32 West Main Street in August.

Other proposed Town Meeting articles

Williams gave an overview of some of the other articles that may be on the warrant for Town Meeting.

One of the articles would be to establish a new town seal, which is the 1913 seal. If that doesn’t pass, Town Meeting may establish a Town Seal Design Committee.

Another article would fund sewer treatment plant repairs.

Among the budget adjustments, the school department is seeking an additional $539,000 for their fiscal year 2023 budget to allow for Westborough Public Schools to pay the tuition service for students who live in town and require specialized services through out-of-district placements.

“This past year, the district experienced an unprecedented and unanticipated outplacement of eight students after the submission of the budget,” said Williams.

A fourth article would use $357,000 from ambulance receipt reserves to replace an ambulance.

Williams said this replacement is on the town’s capital plan for fiscal year 2024, but it was coming early due to concerns over the time to order an ambulance.

The Select Board will be closing the warrant during their Sept. 27 meeting.