A Yankee legislature in the 1930s didn’t trust Boston’s Irish politicians to regulate bars and restaurants — and imposed a cap on the number of liquor licenses in the city. Those limits, which require legislative action to change, now stand at about 350 beer-and-wine licenses and 675 full liquor licenses. The numbers have not kept up as Boston’s economy and population recovered from the miasma of the 1970s and as the American gastronomic scene matured. These limits have bizarre results for Boston’s nightlife scene.
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