Smith’s youth hostel liquor license challenged

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Commission has apparently been asked to set a hearing for residents who have signed a petition asking the ABCC not to grant a liquor license approved recently by the local Licensing Board.

At a hearing last month, the Licensing Board voted 2-0 to grant a liquor license to Representative Stat Smith for the operation of his business, the Backpakers Pub on School Street.

More than a dozen residents of the area packed the hearing and opposed the granting of the license.

Residents said they did not want alcohol to affect the neighborhood negatively. All twelve residents of the area said it would.

The Backpackers Pub is close to three elementary schools – the Whittier, Adams and St. Anthony’s.

More than 150 area residents have signed a petition opposing the pub – a copy of which has been mailed to the ABCC.

The ABCC had three months in which to approve the vote of the Local Licensing Board.

ABCC protocol allows for hearings when requested by residents of a neighborhood opposed to the granting of a license.

School officials testified at the local hearing that alcohol use at the proposed venue in Smith’s business place might adversely affect students walking home after school.

A number of school officials, Superintendent of Schools Fred Foresteire chief among them, condemned the granting of the license.

“It is the wrong place to put a liquor license,” Foresteire said. “It sends the wrong message to the community and especially so when the local community is so much against it,” he said.

The ABCC has not yet set a hearing date.

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