Board sets rules for first package stores

The Board of Selectmen voted on Tuesday night to approve regulations for the town’s new off-site liquor licenses, according to Sandy Cincotta, town support services manager. Residents voted last month to allow the sale of alcohol at package stores, ending Needham’s status as a dry town. The regulations set last week include rules about the hours alcohol can be sold, and the age requirements for employees. Needham is eligible for six retail sales licenses, and will get two more in 2018. No more than six at a time will be all-alcohol permits. Package stores will be allowed to sell alcohol from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday and most holidays, under the new regulations. Among other restrictions, no sales will be allowed on Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas; selectmen will have the final say on the hours for each individual store; convenience stores will not be granted liquor licenses; and food stores may be issued only wine and beer licenses.  The application period for off-premise liquor licenses will open Jan. 7 at 9 a.m. and close Jan. 18 at 4 p.m.