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Medford Officials Consider Reducing Restaurant Liquor License Requirements

City councilors discussed Tuesday looking into opening up liquor licenses to more restaurants.

The city council's subcommittee on licensing is contemplating an attempt to make liquor licenses available to more restaurants.

In 2008, the city reduced its seating requirement for full liquor license eligibility from 250 to 99 seats. Restaurants with 19 or more seats are allowed to have a beer and wine license, but can't serve hard liquor or mixed drinks. Some of those establishments are interested in serving more than beer and wine, councilors Paul Camuso and Rick Caraviello said during a meeting Tuesday.

, an Asian restaurant in Medford Square, is licensed to serve beer and wine, but it can't serve a Mai Thai, Camuso said.

A change to the city's liquor licensing would have to be done through a home rule petition approved by the state's legislature, City Solicitor Mark Rumley said Tuesday.

Councilor Robert Penta said he wouldn't be opposed to allowing more restaurants to allow mixed drinks to be available with table service, but was reluctant about allowing restaurants to have small bars.

“I think it would just escalate,” he said.

Camuso, the chairman of the subcommittee, called for the matter to be raised again in a future meeting.

"At this point, I think we have to start thinking about numbers," Camuso said.

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