Patrons are a step closer to being able to get a beer or a glass of wine in Tisbury without having to purchase food along with it.
A home rule petition, sponsored by state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, passed the House last week. The bill would allow Tisbury to “eliminate the restriction that alcoholic beverages may only be served with a meal, if approved by the majority of voters as a ballot initiative during an upcoming election.”
It would be the latest change to the town’s bylaws when it comes to serving alcohol. Tisbury first allowed beer and wine in 2009, but only with the purchase of food. Then, in 2017, voters approved a measure to allow all types of alcohol to be sold at restaurants.
“The restaurant industry has been particularly impacted by the pandemic, and this legislation will allow Tisbury voters to decide whether local restaurants can have more flexibility in serving customers,” Fernandes said in the release.
The home rule legislation does still require restaurants to be able to seat at least 30 customers, requires that alcohol sales not exceed 35 percent of gross sales, and prohibits the sale of alcohol after 11 pm.
Select board chair Jeff Kristal is quoted in the release. “The town and the business community are excited to see the progress as this bill moves forward to the Senate,” he said. “We would like to thank our legislative delegation for their efforts in following this through. This has been a very tough business climate over the last 18 months, and to see progress on this bill gives the community a positive outlook for seasons to come.”
The bill now moves to the Senate.
In a text message to The Times, state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, said no date has been set for the Senate to take up the legislation in the next month. “Home rule petitions of this nature are rather routine, so I expect we would take it up soon,” he wrote.