Bittersweet license approvals postponed

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A public hearing held on March 19 to consider approving three licenses for Bittersweet Company was opened but continued until April 9 due to the need for additional information.

Ciaran Dunne, on behalf of Oliveira & Dunne, dba Bittersweet Company, newly located at 22-24 Main St., was seeking a total of three licenses: 1) a common victualer license, 2) a Section 12 beer and wine alcohol license, and 3) an entertainment license.

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“There has been some more feedback from some of our permitting agencies,” said Select Chair Claire Wright. “So I’m not sure. … We’re going to need some more time to address these.”

“There’s nothing here that can’t be addressed or won’t be addressed,” responded Dunne. “I’m just seeing these [comments] for the first time myself, so I guess I need to review them and answer any questions.”

Dunne is pushing to open at the end of April but said ideally he like to open “yesterday” if he could. To help expedite the process Brian Herr suggested approving the licenses contingent upon the receipt of the needed information, but Wright said that the board should respect the concerns of the permitting teams.

Having spoken to the building inspector, Fire Chief Steve Slaman said, “We don’t have enough information between our two departments to be able to review what’s going to be in there or give you comments. We’re missing a lot of information that would normally come.”

Bittersweet Company needs a total of nine parking spaces, of which three are available out front and another three in the rear of the building. The final three spaces will come from 17 Main St. thanks to an agreement that Dunne has with building owner Tom Carey, but that agreement requires approval by the Planning Board, and according to Elaine Lazarus, no application had yet been submitted.

With respect to the building department, Dunne said that every two weeks after he satisfied the requirements, there were some new requirements.

“And it kept going like this for some six or eight weeks, so much so that my architect stepped down from the project because there were differences of opinions,” he said.

“I’d love to see this happen sooner than later,” said Herr, “but it does seem as if there are a lot of loose ends … so maybe the thing to do is to continue the hearing until we get a little more information.”

John Coutinho agreed and said that he didn’t want the various departments to ask why the board had granted the licenses without all the required information.

“This is the cart before the horse right now,” he said.

With almost everything in the works, but not quite ready, the board opted to continue the public hearing until April 9.

“I accept your decision, I think it’s right,” Dunne said.