Information for Restaurants
Soft Openings (For Training Purposes)
Contact Board of Selectmen's office via email to ensure that all licenses are in place and that soft opening training can be provided at the Selectmen's office.
Important: Due to insurance and liability issues, alcoholic beverages cannot be served free of charge.
Standard Regulations for All Restaurants
- No personal shall walk around the establishment with an alcoholic beverage.
- All alcoholic beverages must be delivered by a server.
- All servers must be registered with the Burlington Police Department.
- Drinks may not be sold for a price less than the price regularly charged.
- No more than two drinks may be served prior to eating.
- Entertainment (bands) must be licensed separately.
Beer & Wine Tastings
- All alcoholic beverages tasted must also be available for sale on premises.
- Restaurants, hotels, and function hallsholding wine, malt beverages and spirits tasting must provide food with the alcoholic beverages and they must not solicit orders for any off-premises consumption. The manager of the restaurant, hotel, or function hall is responsible for controlling the dispensing of the alcoholic beverages and the size of each serving 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
- Special One-Day Liquor License Application
- Requests must be submitted 30 days prior to 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.
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.
- 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 (PDF): 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, it will be prepared, along with the abutter notification, by the Selectmen's office. Petitioner or representative is responsible for the cost of the billing for the publication.
Petitioner must obtain from the Assessors Office 781-270-1650 a list of direct abutters within 300' along with four sets of labels. Also request and provide to the Selectmen's Office abutters within 500'. Petioner mails abutter notices no later than three days from the publication of the legal notice.
When application is complete and abutter labels have been received, contact this office to select a date to go before the Board of Selectmen.
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.