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SELECTMEN: Liquor License Approval 'Premature' for Carriage House Restaurant

With one of the most extensive order of conditions contained in a special permit ever issued by Groton Planning Board, George Pergantis, owner of Carriage House Seafood Grill and Function Hall, has a lengthy list of requirements that he must complete, and a number of Boards have to sign off that he has completed these requirements before he has a chance of securing an occupancy permit from the town and an All Alcohol Liquor License from Selectmen. Pergantis received his special permit approval in early January.

His public hearing on the license request was continued to July 29 when he is slated to report on his updated progress on addressing the permit conditions and to seek liquor license approval for his Main Street establishment.

Pergantis was represented by Attorney Darren Lanza of Ayer, who told the Board of Selectmen that some of the sections of the application for the liquor license that Pergantis filled out were missing and asked for a continuance in order to complete the application.

Executive Assistant Patrice Garvin advised that part of what was missing were some of the financials and that the ABCC (Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission) would be checking for proof of funding before they approve any license.

Selectman Chairman Peter Cunningham stressed that there were a number of outstanding issues with Mr. Pergantis and some of the boards in town and that the restaurant owner needed a certificate of inspection from the Building Commissioner and Fire Chief. Lanza acknowledged that one of the larger items was installation of a sprinkler system, adding that Pergantis was working on a plan and hoped to have it installed soon.

Vice-Chairman Josh Degen advised that he felt that the request for a liquor license was "extremely premature. There are lots of conditions; there are Conservation Commission issues and there are Board of Health issues. I want all the conditions done and signed off on before we approve a license." Colleague Clerk Anna Eliot concurred, adding that Pergantis "needs a food service license from the Board of Health and that all prerequisites are done."

Member Stuart Schulman said that he was "not sure that they could make approval of a liquor license contingent on this but there have been so many open issues that have been open for a long time."

Lanza suggested that the Board could, in fact, act on the liquor license request and make the outstanding issues a condition of the permit.

Land Use Director Michelle Collette called the attention of the Board not only to the outstanding conditions of the permit that must be met before an occupancy permit is issued, but also that the applicant had a continuing non-compliance record with the town.

Cunningham said, "The Board would like to see an aggressive pursuit of the outstanding issues." Lanza suggested a continuance to August, but that a lot of the outstanding work could be completed well before that.

Degen noted that that he would be willing to consider the application earlier if the Board of Health issue with the swimming pool and dumping of materials in the wetlands were fixed.

Groton Herald

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