Although several Braintree restaurants were represented during a meeting Tuesday afternoon at Town Hall, no one asked the license board to change or even discuss the local regulation prohibiting the sale of alcohol by pitcher.
The meeting was held in response to questions that some restaurants asked Board of License Commissioners Chair Joe Powers about the policy and after he announced that some Braintree establishments had been serving pitchers in violation of local law.
Powers would not specify which businesses were involved, but said at least two were serving pitchers of alcohol despite Braintree regulations forbidding it. The state allows the sale of alcohol in pitchers to at least two customers at a time. Braintree's more stringent regulation took effect in 1984 after a Weymouth woman was killed in an alcohol-related car accident tied to the serving of "happy hour" drinks at the Ground Round.
The board sent letters to all restaurants in town with alcohol licenses reminding them of the pitcher regulation, along with those regarding outdoor seating and discounted alcohol. It also informed them that there would be a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the pitcher law.
"A number" of establishments spoke to Powers prior to the meeting about the regulation, both chain restaurants that are allowed to sell pitchers elsewhere and inquiring independent businesses, and so Powers said he was surprised that none came forward on Tuesday.
"If no one appears inclined to ask us to [change the rule], I'm not inclined to make a change," Powers said.
Board member and Police Chief Paul Frazier said he has seen alcohol being served in pitchers outside of Braintree without problems, but also felt the board should not adjust its policy without request.
"Rather than initiate a full-scale investigation and hearings" about the reports of violations, Powers said, he chose to re-educate license holders and provide a forum for discussion. Restaurants are now "on notice" that if they serve alcohol by the pitcher it is against Braintree law and they may be brought before the board for a hearing, Powers said.