Hadley Select Board OKs one-day liquor licenses for Young Men’s Club events

The Young Men’s Club & Pavilion in Hadley

The Young Men’s Club & Pavilion in Hadley GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 02-15-2024 8:29 PM

HADLEY — Annual events that draw in excess of 1,000 spectators, like the Country in the Country concert and spring and fall festivals for area college students, will continue to be held at the Young Men’s Club, pending approval of one-day liquor licenses by the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

The Select Board voted 4-1 on Feb. 7, with member Randy Izer voting against, to grant one-day liquor licenses to the 138 East St. club for events set for April 27, June 22 and Oct. 19, contingent on state approval. The club also will have to follow conditions set as a result of discussions with Fire Chief Michael Spanknebel, Police Chief Michael Mason and Building Commissioner Thomas Quinlan Jr.

The decision on the licenses comes after the Select Board in December issued a revised club alcohol license for the Young Men’s Club, offering more flexibility for where members and their guests can be served and consume alcohol on the property, including on an outside deck. The revised license also is explicit that to rent the club’s pavilion for a wedding, reunion, graduation or other event, the person renting it must be a club member.

Licensing Coordinator Jennifer Sanders James said the regulations the club will have to abide by come after complaints from nearby residents last spring about noise, traffic and drug consumption following the Grass is Greener festival.

The requests from the club state that the events aimed at college students would have up to 3,500 attendees, with the country music concert having up to 5,000 on site.

“I still don’t believe this board has the authority to grant them the permission to have the event,” Izer said.

Select Board member Joyce Chunglo disagreed. “Yes we do; it goes with the liquor license,” Chunglo said.

Possibly reducing the number of people attending the events was suggested by Select Board member Jane Nevinsmith.

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Select Board Chairwoman Amy Parsons, though, said since they are outdoor events, there are no occupancy limits.

Club member Richard Downie said planning for the events has been held up without the one-day licenses and the ABCC approval.