license commission

Common Victualer License (Non-Alcoholic Restaurant)


Photo of Restaurant Table


Common Victualer License (Non-Alcoholic Restaurant)

Issued by: License Commission

Governed By: Massachusetts General Law ch. 140 sec. 2-9

Process Length: Approximately four to six weeks.

Fee: $175 hearing and advertising fee. The License fee is based on seating capacity and starts at $45.50


Step 1:

The applicant should obtain and complete the Common Victualer License application and the Licensed Premises Inspection Approval form.

The application to the License Commission must include:

  1. completed Common Victualer License application form
  2. Licensed Premises Inspection Approval form with a zoning sign-off from the Inspectional Services Department
  3. a floor plan designating street and number, entrances and exits, the type of establishment, and a seating arrangement on an 8.5” x 11” paper
  4. a copy of the Articles of Organization if the applicant is a corporation, or a copy of the Business Certificate (DBA) obtainable through the City Clerk’s Office
  5. a menu
  6. a signed lease or a letter of intent from the landlord

Step 2:

The applicant must submit the Licensed Premises Inspection Approval form and a copy of a floor plan to the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) for their zoning approval.

Step 3:

The applicant will then submit all required documents along with a $175 hearing and newspaper advertising fee. The License Commission will schedule a hearing on the second or fourth Tuesday of the month, which the applicant must attend. The License Commission will then send a decision letter to the applicant, with instructions for fulfilling any outstanding requirements.

Step 4:

The applicant will then take the Licensed Premises Inspection Approval form to ISD for approval from their building and health inspectors. A current Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Inspection will be accepted in lieu of sign-offs.

Step 5:

The Fire Department will automatically inspect the site based on the License Commission hearing agenda.

Visiting City Hall

Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Louis DePasquale
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager