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Clink! More Liquor May Soon Flow in the Square

Pending License Commission, Square could see first full-service liquor store since 2003

Imbibing in the Square may soon get a little bit easier.

The Cambridge City Council approved a liquor license application yesterday for Manpriya, Inc., which hopes to open a liquor and package store on JFK Street. The Square has lacked a full-service liquor store since Harvard Provision closed in March 2003.

The license was discussed by the Council at length because of recent local regulatory problems.

The Knights of Columbus recently had their license revoked for three days in response to underage drinking at their lodge, and Libby’s Liquor Market is under investigation for violating its license by selling to an intoxicated person, according to the Cambridge Chronicle.

But the Council ultimately approved the application, citing neighborhood interest and Manpriya’s good record.

The application will now be considered by the city License Commission.

“From the whole time Harvard Provision was there, no one ever accused it of being the cause of student antics,” said Mayor Kenneth E. Reeves ’72.

Last night’s Council meeting also touched on emergency evacuation plans.

Boston recently posted signs marking emergency evacuation routes, pointing evacuees toward Cambridge. The move prompted Councillor Michael A. Sullivan to propose a policy order urging Cambridge to follow suit in clarifying its emergency plans.

Even first-year Councillor Craig Kelley was not aware of Cambridge’s emergency plan.

“It would be nice to know that we have a plan, and that is not clear to me,” Kelley said.

Sullivan confirmed that a plan existed, but noted that it is less than complete.

“[The Boston evacuation plan] takes you over the Longfellow Bridge and, basically, you’re out of luck once you get there,” he said. The Longfellow Bridge spans the Charles River and connects Boston to Cambridge.

Councillor Henrietta S. Davis encouraged those creating an evacuation plan to remember that many Cambridge residents do not own cars.

“Are they supposed to walk the evacuation routes?” she asked.

—Staff writer Virginia A. Fisher can be reached at vafisher@fas.harvard.edu.