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Beer gardens have grown dramatically more popular in Boston, with 82 one-day licenses issued for beer tents by the city last summer. That's double what it was the previous year.
But not everyone is fully on board with this trend, particularly restaurants who say these spots siphon away their business. Last month, two state lawmakers proposed a bill that could change how these beer gardens operate. The law would restrict the use of one day licenses that many of these beer tents use to operate to just 14 days a year.
This resulted in an outcry from beer fans across the city, who say it re-enforces the city's reputation of being "no fun." But State Sen. Nick Collins, one of the co-sponsors, says this isn't about shutting down these summer venues.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued a statement Wednesday about the proposal to WBUR:
“I am committed to ensuring that liquor licenses in Boston are used as an economic development tool to uplift our neighborhoods and support our restaurants. My administration is working to secure passage of legislation that will increase the number of licenses for our neighborhood establishments. This bill creates a new process for large scale developments to ensure that the new licenses that would be generated from the proposal are preserved for local businesses. I look forward to hearing discussions about additional liquor license proposals during the City Council and State Legislature public process.”
State Sen. Nick Collins also asked Boston’s City Council last month to support a seasonal license for beer tents.
What's does the future look like for beer gardens in Boston?
This segment aired on March 13, 2019.
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