Happy hours at bars and restaurants in Massachusetts have not been allowed for decades when restrictions were passed to cut down on the amount of drinking and driving.
The casino bill passed last year requires the ABCC to complete a study by Jan. 31 of whether the state happy hour law, which currently restricts daily or hourly discounts on alcoholic drinks, should be updated or amended, according to the Boston Herald.
John Grasso, president of the Halfway Cafe chain of six restaurants, told the Herald that he would like to see restaurants have the same rules as casinos.
“Do I want to go back to the days of two-for-ones and happy hour? No, not really, but in terms of competitive advantage, that should be up to the individual operators’ discretion,” Grasso said. “Our industry is under siege, and (free drinks at casinos) is just another nail in the coffin. There is an unfair playing advantage with that.”
In Newton, the Board of License Commissioners Rules and Regulations has a number of stipulations regarding the service of alcohol. Happy hours are specifically prohibited in those rules with the following statement:
The price charged for alcoholic beverages shall not be discounted for any particular hour(s) of the day or day(s) of the week.
In addition, the Board of License Commissioners Rules and Regulations also state that prepared food must be available at all times to allow a permit to sell alcohol.
However, the city is changing some of its alcohol permit rules to help local businesses. In May, the Board of Aldermen approved a licensing rule that would allow the License Commissioners to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages to start at 10 a.m. on Sunday, rather than noon.
What do you think about bringing back happy hours? Are you in favor? Should the ban stay? Tell us in the comment section below.