Town officials mull options for Young Men’s Club alcohol license in Hadley 


Staff Writer

Published: 07-13-2023 11:18 AM

HADLEY — Town officials are exploring options for how the Young Men’s Club can continue to hold events at its East Street site that are open to the public, with alcohol being served to those in attendance, while remaining in compliance with both town zoning and state alcohol regulations.

But without an immediate remedy to possible violations of its club alcohol license, there is some uncertainty about whether coming events, including the annual Octoberfest organized by a private company that sells tickets to local college students who are 21 and over, will take place.

At the July 5 Select Board meeting, during a hearing on possible amendments to the club’s alcohol license, attorney Tom Reidy of Bacon Wilson P.C. of Amherst, asked the board to delay any adjustments to the license.

“We would request no changes, that the board doesn’t modify, revoke, rescind the existing club license,” Reidy said.

The board agreed to continue the hearing without any finding until at least Nov. 1.

The club recently staged the Country in the Country concert, and it continues to hold regular car shows, though Reidy said anyone consuming alcohol will have to be a club member or an invited guest of a member. Octoberfest is the only major event scheduled.

Reidy said he is looking into whether the club can seek an on-premise all-alcohol license or subdivide the property so the clubhouse and pavilion, where members often congregate, would be considered different premises from the rest of the site. One-day liquor licenses are another possibility to resolve the issue.

In addition to asking for a different license or multiple licenses, Reidy said the club may also have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for approvals of how the site is used. He characterized this is a comprehensive way to address the concerns.

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Reidy and club members met with town officials and municipal inspections and public safety directors after the Select Board earlier heard complaints from those who live nearby about a growing number of events they say are impacting their quality of life. Previously, a Zoning Board of Appeals decision in 1988 prohibited multiday events at the site.

Town attorney Lisa Mead of Mead, Talerman and Costa said the Young Men’s Club needs to file a request for amending its license, which has not happened yet. Mead said one-day liquor licenses could potentially be issued to the club for satellite locations on the property.

Select Board member Molly Keegan asked whether club will be fully compliant with its licensing until the issues are resolved. Reidy confirmed this will be the case.