Selling and consuming alcoholic beverages has been a topic of many discussions in Barrington over the past few years. In November, voters in the town are likely to have a say in who can sell adult beverages in the town.
Two sets of petitions have been turned in to Town Clerk Joy Perry for submission to the Yates County Board of Elections. If the petitions are accepted by the election commissioners, a series of questions will appear on the ballot in Barrington.
The questions ask voters to permit the following:
• Tavern alcoholic beverage license, allowing a person to obtain a license to operate a tavern with a limited service menu which permits the tavern operator to sell alcoholic beverages for a customer to drink in the tavern. Also, unopened containers of beer may be sold to go.
• Restaurant alcoholic beverage license, allowing the operator of a full service restaurant to obtain a license as above.
• Year-round hotel alcoholic beverage license, allowing the operator of a year-round hotel with a full service restaurant to sell alcohol for consumption in the hotel. Also, unopened containers of beer may be sold to go.
A group of town officials circulated petitions seeking signatures for the three questions. In addition, Seth Olney, owner of The Olney Place, circulated a petition seeking support for the tavern alcoholic beverage license.
According to information revealed by the New York State Liquor Authority during investigation into Olney’s license to sell beer in his store, Barrington is a partially dry town. In 1967, Barrington residents approved two local options to the state law regarding alcoholic beverages that permit the sale of alcohol for off-premises consumption at various businesses, and sales for consumption on premises for hotels only.
When considering Olney’s license application, SLA officials did not realize his business is located in the town of Barrington because the business postal address is Penn Yan. His original license was issued in 2008, and he has applied to expand the license into the addition to the store that is at the center of a dispute between himself and town officials.
Barrington Supervisor Fred Wright says, “If somebody were to want to put a restaurant in Barrington away from the lake residential area, I think they should be able to (sell alcohol). He says he is “absolutely” in favor of the people in the town making the choices. “If a majority of people say ‘no’ to all three, so be it,” he adds.