Commission Approves All Alcohol License for Pearl Street Coffee House

Tired of waiting for state action on a home-rule petition that would allow the city to issue a certain amount of liquor licenses by a request for proposals process, the Licensing Commission voted last week to issue an all-alcohol license to the proposed Kushala Sip Coffee House on Pearl Street.

The owners of the coffee house initially came before the commission this summer, and commissioners supported the business plan and proposal, but held off on issuing the license as they waited for the state to approve the home-rule petition. Under the petition, the five new liquor licenses granted to the city due to new census data would be issued under a proposal process and returned to the city if they were no longer used by the initial applicant.

“The ABCC (the state’s alcohol licensing commission) and the state legislature, right now, they are not going to pass too much by the end of the year, and then they have to start over again with a whole new state legislature,” said City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher. 

Commission Chair Marnie MacAlpine said she was in favor of issuing the liquor license to Kushala.

“Given the fact that there hasn’t been an outpouring (of proposal applications), and that we are all in agreement that the Kushala Sip Coffee House was a different kind of facility coming to the city, which was one of our reasons for wanting to go that route in the first place, I would like to see if anybody would like to make a motion to approve a license for them,” sad MacAlpine.

The commission unanimously voted to grant the license.

McAlpine also noted that the owners of the coffee house are getting closer to an opening date.

“They are nearing the end of their work, so this will hopefully line up right in time with them being able to get going and have that license upon opening their doors,” she said.

At the July hearing on the license, applicant Dalia Valencia said she has owned the Kushala Sip Coffee House in Stoneham since 2015 and was looking to expand.

The Stoneham location does not have a liquor license.

“I’m from Mexico originally, and the coffeehouse is a concept that is very popular in my country,” Valencia said at the time. “When I opened seven years ago in Stoneham, I wanted to (serve alcohol), but it wasn’t easy because it was a very small space that was not able to accommodate that.”

Valencia is proposing 50 seats inside and 10 seats outside and the coffee house would serve food in addition to craft coffees and alcohol.

In other business, the commission held a disciplinary hearing on noise complaints for Nocturno restaurant at 158 Broadway.

Nocturno owner Nelson Molina said a new door and soundproofing was recently installed at the location which should cut down on the noise and complaints from a nearby condominium building. 

Commission members agreed that Molina was taking steps to address the complaints and did not take any disciplinary action. The commission also granted an entertainment license to P’onde Juancho at 404 Broadway, allowing the restaurant to operate several televisions in its premises

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *