Information for Restaurants
Soft Openings (For Training Purposes)
Contact the Select Board's office via email to ensure that all licenses are in place and that soft opening training can be provided at the Select Board's office.
Important: Due to insurance and liability issues, alcoholic beverages cannot be served free of charge.
Standard Regulations for All Restaurants
- No restaurant clientele shall walk around the establishment with an alcoholic beverage.
- All alcoholic beverages must be poured and delivered by a TIPS certified server.
- All servers must be registered with the Burlington Police Department.
- Drinks may not be provided free of charge or sold for a price less than the price regularly charged even during soft openings.
- No more than two drinks may be served prior to eating.
- Live music entertainment must be applied for and licensed separately (piped in music and televisions do not need a separate license).
- No alcoholic beverages may be served in a container or pitcher except for wine which may be served in either half or full liter carafes without prior approval from the Select Board.
Beer & Wine Tastings
- All alcoholic beverages tasted must also be available for sale at the package store premises.
- Restaurants, hotels, and function halls holding wine, malt beverages and spirits tasting must provide food with the alcoholic beverages.
- The manager of the restaurant, hotel, or function hall holding a tasting event is responsible for controlling the dispensing of the alcoholic beverages and the size of each serving for tasting events is limited to the following amounts:
- Malt beverages one (2) ounce serving
- Wine beverages one ounce serving
- Spirits beverages one (1/4) ounce serving
- Package stores may not charge for any wine, malt beverages or spirits tasting and they must also limit the above stated serving sizes.
Special One-Day Liquor License for a Public Event
- Special One-Day Liquor License Application
- Public events are advertised on any form of social media.
- Requests must be submitted 30 days prior to event
- Contact Building Department to review tent requirements for event.
- Contact Board of Health to review food permit requirement for event.
- Alcohol for the event cannot be purchased from a package store. A State Approved Wholesaler (XLSX) must be contacted for the purchase and delivery of alcohol.
- Instead of a one-day license, we recommend hiring a State Approved 12C Licensee (PDF) who will handle the purchase of alcohol, the serving of the alcohol and will contact the Police Chief within the required 48 hours.
Requests for Alcohol at a Private Event
Requests to serve alcohol at private events (not advertised on any form of social media) do not require approval by the Select Board.
- Contact Building Department to review tent requirements for event.
- Contact Board of Health to review catering food permit requirement for event.
Alcohol Beverages Control Commission (ABCC)
View the ABCC website to learn about the state's authority to promulgate regulations clarifying, carrying out, enforcing and preventing violation of Chapter 138's provisions for the method of carrying on the business of any alcohol licensed premise.
- FAQs - Massachusetts Alcohol Beverages Control Commission (PDF)
- State Advisory Letters
- Matrix for Retail License Transactions (PDF)
New & Amendments to Existing Licenses
- Submit applications 30 days prior to meeting to allow for staff review and public hearing.
- Clips may be used - no staples.
- Sections of application and documents may be separated by colored paper. You may add headings to the colored sheets of paper.
- Submit 2 copy copies of 11x 17 floor plan for new or altered floor plans.
- $200 (plus fee) is due to the Alcoholic Beverages for all submission applications. The auto pay receipt should be included with the submitted application online.
- $150 fee (check only) made out to the Town of Burlington should be included with the submitted application.
Forms & Applications Links
- Amendment applications
- New or Transfer License Alcohol Applications
- Change of Manager Alcohol Application - Change of Corporate Name, Change of DBA, Change of Legal Structure, Change of Class, Change of Category
- Forms for Multiple Amendments to Alcohol License
- Alteration of Premises and Change of Location - Alteration of Premises applications must be accompanied by 2 11" x 17" new floor plan. Contact Building and Fire Department to receive their approval.
- Pledge of Collateral (License, Stock, or Inventory)
- State's Transactional Checklist (PDF)
- Resources and Forms for Local Licensing Authorities (LLAs)
Extra Requirements for New Manager
- Brief resume describing past or current experience under an alcohol license - Town Requirement.
- State I.D. or driver's license.
- Passport or other verification of U.S. citizenship.
- $150 fee to the Town of Burlington for all amendments.
- TIPs Certification (Training for Intervention) - Town Requirement (Procedures)
- Burlington CORI Authorization Form Signed (We cannot use the state's CORI.) - Town Requirement
- Letter signed by new manager stating they have read and understand the State and the Town's following Alcohol Rules and Regulations. - Town Requirement
When a public hearing is required, the Select Board's office will prepare a public hearing notice for the newspaper and abutter letters for direct abutters. The applicant must approve the public hearing notice and the abutter notification. The Select Board will handle sending the notice to the newspaper, but the applicant or representative is responsible for the cost of the billing for the publication prior to the hearing.
Petitioner obtains from the Assessors Office 781-270-1650 -
4 sets of labels for the certified abutter notifications
A list of direct abutters to send certified abutter notifications.
A list of abutters within 500' and the petitioner must ensure that any churches or schools on that list receives an abutter's notice per MGL
The applicant is responsible for sending by certified mail the prepared abutter's notice to direct abutters and to churches and schools within 500' no later than three days from the date of the publication of the legal notice.
The applicant must return the white portion of the mailing label and any green cards returned by the abutters to Select Board's office before the hearing. The white labels are proof of abutter notification in order for the hearing to be held.
Unless told otherwise by the Select Board's office, when an application is complete and abutter labels have been received, contact this office to select a date to go before the Select Board.
New/Transfer & Alterations of Premises
Contact building department to review the floor plan. Final plan should include a break down of Number of indoor and outdoor seating including changes during the off season. The term "bar" may not be included on the floor plan. You may use the term "café dining."
Certificate of Good Standing (COGS)
In order to confirm that all licensees and applicants are in compliance with Massachusetts tax laws, the ABCC is requiring a Certificate of Good Standing (COGS) from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for the following transactions submitted to the Local Board:
- Transfer of License (certificate must be in the current/seller licensee name)
- Change in Beneficial Interest
- Pledge of License
- Change of License Class (Seasonal, Annual)
- Change in License Category (Wines and Malts, All Alcohol, etc.)
- Change of Entity Name (certificate must be in the current corporate name)
- Change of Corporate Structure (certificate must be in the current corporate structure)
- Addition of a Management Agreement
- Please Note: a new licensee does not require a COGS
An applicant can obtain a COGS by visiting the Department of Revenue's website.