The License Commission serves as a regulatory board for various licenses issued by the City including licensing purveyors of alcoholic beverages. The Commission strives to issue licenses that will be an asset to the community and to ensure that all rules and regulations pertaining to licenses are complied with in order to protect the safety and health of the public.
As a result of Worcester's population growth, the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) has increased the City's quota for each category of Section 15 off-premise licenses (aka "package store" license) by five, for a total of 42 all alcohol and 42 malt & wine licenses available as of 2022. Given the anticipated high demand for the newly available Section 15 all alcohol licenses, the License Commission will consider all properly submitted Section 15 all-alcohol license applications received by August 23, 2022 during an initial round of public hearings beginning in September. Once all applications received by August 23rd have been heard, the Commission will issue licenses from among the group of applicants. Should the Commission grant fewer than five licenses at the close of the initial hearing process described above, subsequent applications will be considered as they normally would in the order received. Prospective applicants may direct questions to License@worcesterma.gov or 508-799-1400 ext. 31437.
Meet twice monthly on Thursdays at 10 a.m.
Please review the Meeting Schedule for meeting dates and application deadlines.
Date/Time of Next Meeting: Thursday October 6th, 2022
NO APPLICATIONS FILED
Please contact the License Commission Office at 508-799-1400 ext 31437 or email email@example.com if you have questions about which ABCC form to use. There are City of Worcester forms that are also required in addition to the ABCC forms.
THE MASSACHUSETTS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES CONTROL COMMISSION (ABCC) REQUIRES THAT ALL INFORMATION ON LIQUOR LICENSE APPLICATIONS MUST BE TYPED OR IT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. THE FORMS ARE FILLABLE PDF FORMS. NO STAPLES IN THE APPLICATION OR ANY OF THE BACK UP ITEMS AS ALL ITEMS MUST BE SCANNED.
APPLICANTS MUST SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH STAFF FOR APPLICATION TO BE REVIEWED PRIOR TO FILING TO ENSURE THAT APPLICATION IS COMPLETE AND ALL FORMS HAVE BEEN FILLED OUT PROPERLY.
For information on all city permits, licenses and fees, visit Permit/License Center.
Application is for a new license or a transfer of license. The time-frame for a Common Victualer license is four to six weeks from the date of the submission of the completed application.
Before you can submit an application for a permit or license you must create an account. Please see Signing Up, Creating a Profile & Accessing Your Information and Applying for a Permit & Paying Fees.
Parking Lot licenses expire on August 1st and are renewable!
Yes. An on-premise license (which includes the categories of restaurants, hotels, bars, taverns and clubs) may not be issued to a person "who has been convicted of a violation of a federal or state narcotic drug law."
Yes. There are qualifications for a liquor license. These qualifications are set by the law. The type and number of qualifications for a liquor license depend on who the party is that is applying for the liquor license (i.e. whether the party is an individual, a partnership, or a corporation) and what type of liquor license is being sought.
No specified distance; however under Section 16C of M.G.L. Chapter 138, premises located within a radius of five hundred feet of a school or church shall not be licensed to sell alcoholic beverages unless the local licensing authority determines in writing and after a hearing that the premises are not detrimental to the educational and spiritual activities of that church or school, unless the premises are those of an inn holder or unless the parts of the buildings are located ten or more floors above street level. The 500 foot distance under this Section 16C is measured in a straight line from the nearest point of the church or school to the nearest point of the premises to be licensed.
A licensee has five (5) days from receipt of the written decision to appeal to the A.B.C.C. a decision made by the Local Licensing Authority.
Under the Liquor Control Act (M.G.L. Chapter 138), local licensing authorities may grant three classifications of retail licenses:
At least 18 years of age. Although Chapter 138, section 34 prohibits the sale or delivery of Alcoholic Beverages to a person under 21 years of age, nothing in Chapter 138, Section 34 shall prohibit any licensee from employing a person 18 years of age or older for the direct handling, selling, mixing or serving of alcohol or alcoholic beverages.
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If a licensee is charged with permitting the service, delivery, or possession of alcoholic beverages by a person under 21 years of age, under current state law, a licensee has a defense only if the licensee can affirmatively prove that prior to permitting the service, delivery or possession of alcoholic beverages by a person, the licensee requested, was shown, examined and reasonably relied on either:
Black's Law Dictionary defines a "license" as a permit, granted by an appropriate granted body, generally for a consideration, to a person, firm or corporation to pursue some occupation to carry on some business subject to regulation under the police power. Liquor licenses and permits are revocable privileges granted by the authority of the Commonwealth. Any licensee who violates M.G.L. Chapter 138 or any regulation promulgated by the Commission or the local licensing authority may be stripped of their privilege of holding a license, after a hearing.
The local licensing authority in the city of town where the business is located after the completion of a 3-step process. Step one: the local licensing authority grants a restaurant or package store license; Step two: the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (A.B.C.C.) approves the granting of such a license. Following this approval by the A.B.C.C., Step three: the local licensing authority may issue upon payment of the licensing fee.
To report a concern regarding a licensed establishment (restaurant, bar, nightclub), please contact License Commission staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complaints regarding Taxi and Livery services should be directed to the Worcester Police Department using the Taxi & Livery Complaint Form.
The State of Massachusetts is requiring all new, amended and transfer applications go through the State's system. Please visit the State's ABCC website for applications.