The West Tisbury selectmen unanimously agreed Wednesday, May 9 to award the town’s first license to sell beer and wine to State Road Restaurant.
Following a vote at the annual town election on April 12 to authorize selectmen to issue permits for the sale of beer and wine in restaurants for the first time in more than 100 years, the selectmen voted 2-1 to approve new beer and wine regulations, at their regular meeting April 18.
The new regulations allow for the sale of beer and wine in restaurants with a seating capacity of 50 or more people, as long as it is served with a meal. They also allow selectmen to issue one-day beer and wine licenses for fundraising events, provided the service of such beverages is considered incidental.
The new regulations currently apply to State Road Restaurant, the Lambert’s Cove Inn, and the Plane View Restaurant at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. Due to the town’s population, the state Alcohol Beverage Control Commission (ABCC) will allow a maximum of five beer and wine licenses.
Mary Kenworth, co-owner of State Road Restaurant, said that the new regulations will allow for better control over alcohol service in her restaurant. “With the old BYOB [bring your own booze] really there was no control over the amount people were drinking,” she said. “This is a much better system. It gives us more control.”
The new regulations were modeled after those in Tisbury and Aquinnah, two towns that also recently voted to allow beer and wine sales in restaurants. They will allow restaurants in town to serve beer and wine from 11 am to 11 pm (12 am on New Year’s Eve).
All drinks and glasses must be cleared from the tables by 11:30 pm. The regulations provide that the service of beer and wine “shall be secondary to the primary purpose of service of food. Snack foods such as chips, pretzels and the like shall not be considered a meal.”
The regulations require that all beer and wine beverages must be delivered to a table by waiter, and only one alcoholic beverage can be served at a time. The regulations require a public hearing before the selectmen, and the license holders will be subject to regular inspections by the police.
Application processing fees are $200, and restaurant license fees are $350 annually. The fee for a one-day beer and wine license for fundraisers is $25.