January 27 2016

Special Permit Granted for Burlington Beer Works Restaurant and Brewery

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Planning Board issued a special permit that allowed a craft beer brewery to move one step closer to opening in Burlington. 


The board voted unanimously to approve the permit for Slesar Brother Brewing Company Inc., founders and owners of the Beer Works breweries found in the Boston area. The company is looking to build a Burlington Beer Works in the old Outback Steakhouse location in the Crossroads Plaza. In November of last year the Board of Selectmen allowed the company to acquire Outback’s liquor license. 


“The developer approached us after Outback closed,” said Joe Slesar, company president. “Craft beer is pretty prevalent now.” 


Slesar gave the board a little background on the company. He said the first Beer Works opened in 1992 near Fenway Park. Today there are six locations in communities around Boston. Each location offers a full menu and features beer, some made in on-site brewers. 


“We hope to be a full service restaurant with brewery in the Burlington community,” Slesar said. 


According to the plans the Burlington Beer Works would have slightly more seats than Outback and would feature an outdoor patio with 60 seats. When asked by board members if there was enough room for a patio that size, Slesar said the sidewalk is deeper than it appears. He said they also plan to change the front of the building to allow for more outdoor space. 


The board said outdoor seating was acceptable as long as a five-foot walking area was maintained at all points. They also said that if people were to be drinking on the patio there had to be some kind of barrier separating the diners from the parking lot. 


Other conditions the board imposed included no televisions facing the parking lot, all deliveries to the business had to occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. out of consideration for nearby residents and employees must park behind the building. They pointed out that parking in that lot, especially in the section near this restaurant and Panera Bread, was often difficult due to high volume. 

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