ROWLEY – Despite strong opposition from a couple residents, the Board of Selectmen last week unanimously approved a seasonal beer and wine license for Rowley Country Club.
In granting the license, selectmen pointed to the fact that there has been a liquor license at the property without complaints since the 1970s, and that the Board of Health, fire and police departments and the building inspector did not note any issues with granting a new license.
“If we thought for any reason this would become a barroom scene, we would not be for this license,” Selectman Stuart Dalzell said.
Selectman Joe Perry added that if the board declined the license, the appeals process through the state Alcohol Beverages Control Commission would be lengthy and costly for the town and would most likely result in the license being issued anyway since it has been with the property for more than 40 years.
Burton H. Page, the manager of the golf course at 235 Dodge Road, filed for the seasonal liquor license to offer golfers what he said they had come to expect after playing a round —a sandwich and a beer. Page said most golf courses provide the same service.
“The ability to be able to offer alcohol is very important to the success of the golf course,” he said.
The 89-acre golf course property was sold in January 2013 and a housing development with 18 duplex units is under construction on a portion of the site.
The project includes renovations to the clubhouse, which is set to serve light fare when the golf course reopens this spring. Food and beverages were previously available on the property at the Back Nine Tavern, which has since been torn down to make way for the housing development.
Page said the Back Nine Tavern had a full liquor license and also operated a function hall. The new license for the clubhouse is seasonal only. The clubhouse only will be open when the golf course is in play and will close at 9 p.m., earlier than the Back Nine Tavern did.