Rosa Mexicano Alcohol License Transfer Stands with Select Board | Burlington


BURLINGTON – Rosa Mexicano, an upscale Mexican restaurant set to take over the former Besito space at Burlington Mall, may have encountered a problem in its liquor license transfer process.

The exact tenant space was previously occupied by another upscale Mexican restaurant, Besito, which closed in July 2018, leaving the space vacant until last night.

After several years, Rosa Mexicano finally became the main potential tenant of the former Besito space and the restaurant received unanimous approval from the planning council on September 2.

From that point on, Rosa Mexicano hoped that Besito’s liquor license would be officially transferred to them through the Select Board process, requiring the board’s approval vote. This process began last Monday evening, as the Select Board opened the hearing on the transfer of the liquor license from Besito to Rosa Mexicano.

It didn’t take long for the Select Board to pick up where it left off with Fogo de Chão’s liquor license transfer request, which also involved the Besito license. Fogo applied for Besito’s license within the past year, although they are moving elsewhere in the Burlington Mall. The dispute raised by the Select Board revolves around the Burlington Mall which currently has nine liquor licenses available, but Fogo de Chão applied for the license from Besito which came via the city of Burlington. This is the last available liquor license the city has right now, so the Select Board wants to do everything in their power to preserve it for a more applicable scenario, likely elsewhere in town than the center. Burlington Commercial, which has nine liquor licenses available. Fogo joined the Select Board and applied for one of the mall’s other liquor licenses, which resulted in unanimous board approval almost immediately after the new transfer request was filed.

Well, history is repeating itself because the Select Board is now asking Rosa Mexicano to do exactly what Fogo did just a month ago.

“I don’t know why we have to use a municipal license for this when the Burlington Mall has [eight] licenses for this use ”, explained Joseph Morandi, member of the board of directors of Select. “I want Besito’s license to be used elsewhere. It is the last liquor license in town.

Three years ago, the City of Burlington meeting approved a mandate article granting site-specific liquor licensing at the Burlington Mall. The mall has used several of them for restaurants, including Parm, Common Craft, and Gyu-Kaku, among others. Still, city officials have confirmed that there are eight left, which is why the Select Board stands firm in its stand to urge Rosa Mexicano to reapply for one of the mall’s liquor licenses in the city. instead of going ahead with the Besito permit.

“We have to make a decision based on what is in the best interest of the city,” said Select board chairman James Tigges. “It’s no secret that there are many liquor licenses in the Burlington Mall, and only one for the rest of the city.”

Local attorney Mark Vaughan, of Reimer & Braunstein, representing Rosa Mexicano, noted that the mall “wants” to use their remaining site-specific liquor permits for new developments on the property, such as the old building. Sears which is under construction and will house restaurants and retail outlets. Vaughan also pointed out that the downtown area has eight liquor licenses.

With all this recognized, the Select Board insisted harder and it appears that Rosa Mexicano has no choice but to consider the idea of ​​heeding the council’s recommendation and applying for one of the permits to alcohol specific to the mall site.

“We know there are shopping center licenses because we haven’t approved all of them,” said Robert Hogan, Select board member.

The hearing continued until the board meeting on October 25.

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