By Meredith McCulloch
Dateline: January 12, 2015
The Selectmen held a hearing on a request by Ken’s NY Deli to both expand their facility and to acquire a full liquor license. The full liquor license would allow them to serve all kinds of alcoholic drinks, not just wine and beer as allowed under their current license. John Cronin, Manager, represented the restaurant.
The additional space would be adjacent to their current location in an area formerly occupied by Wicked Good Frozen Yogurt. It would provide a restaurant with table service for 27 diners and a different menu featuring Italian food. The current deli service would be maintained and both sections would be served by the same kitchen. In addition, Ken’s owners want to have the option of four outside tables when the weather permits.
The Selectmen voted unanimously to approve the request to expand the restaurant.
However, the dilemma for the Selectmen was that there was only one remaining full liquor license available to approve and a previous request from Red Heat Tavern is still pending. (See: https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/2015/01/07/new-restaurant-on-the-drawing-board-for-bedford-marketplace/) Based on population size, Bedford is allowed up to 14 all-alcohol licenses under Massachusetts General Laws.
The board wanted to support a local business, but also believed that there is public interest in another centrally located restaurant, especially within a major shopping area. Selectman Margot Fleischman summed up the feeling, “A larger restaurant is appealing. It will serve people now going out of town for something they want and can’t find in Bedford.”
In the end, the license application for Red Heat was approved. The Selectmen agreed that they also would have liked to approve a full license request from Ken’s NY Deli and took two actions. First, they asked that a request to the Legislature to expand the number of licenses go forward by placing it on the Warrant for Annual Town Meeting. Second, they voted that if additional licenses become available, and Ken’s NY Deli files a request for a license within the next 18 months, the application fees would be waived.