Food & Drink

State Reps Ask Governor to Appoint “Neighborhood Friendly” Licensing Board Replacement

With the retirement of Daniel Pokaski, speculation is growing regarding the replacement appointment to the Licensing Board, expected in the next month. The Governor appoints the three members of the City of Boston Licensing Board. The Board regulates food and alcohol licenses throughout the city, as well as fortune tellers, pool halls, bowling allies and dormitories. The State determines the number of alcohol licenses in the City, which total slightly under 1,100. The Board has recently said it may not be able to award new licenses because of the State’s cap.

The other two Licensing Board members are Michael Connolly (former Secretary of State) and Suzanne Iannella (former City Council Candidate). Investigations aside, Mr. Pokaski had gained a reputation of fairness and often sided with neighborhood groups to limit late-night bars in the North End. His replacement could significantly alter the balance on the Board. Connolly has also generally voted to support neighborhood groups while Iannella has often sided with applicants.

The following State Representatives from Boston recently sent the Governor the letter shown below saying that it is “imperative that Mr. Pokaski’s legacy of protecting the residents remain intact … Restaurants and bars are an essential part of the City, but the quality of life of residents must be respected.” The North End’s Aaron Michlewitz is one of the representatives that signed the letter.