Rosa Mexicano approved for Burlington Mall liquor license | Burlington

BURLINGTON – Rosa Mexicano, an upscale Mexican restaurant set to take over the former Besito

BURLINGTON – Rosa Mexicano, an upscale Mexican restaurant set to take over the former Besito place in Burlington Mall, received the liquor license they have been coveting.

Representatives from Rosa Mexicano recently appeared before the Select Board hoping to earn approval for one of the Burlington Mall’s eight available liquor licenses. This comes after a month of trying to get Besito’s liquor license transferred into Rosa Mexicano’s possession.

The exact tenant space used to be occupied by another high-end Mexican eatery, Besito, which closed in July 2018, leaving the space vacant until recently.

After several years, Rosa Mexicano eventually became the primary tenant prospect for the former Besito space and the restaurant earned unanimous approval from the Planning Board on Sept. 2.

From that point, Rosa Mexicano hoped to get Besito’s liquor license formally transferred to them through the Select Board process, needing the board’s vote of approval. This process began just over one month ago, as the Select Board opened the hearing about transferring Besito’s liquor license to Rosa Mexicano.

It didn’t take long for the Select Board to pick up where they left off with the Fogo de Chão liquor license transfer request, which was also for the Besito license. Fogo sought Besito’s license for the past year, though they are locating elsewhere in Burlington Mall. The conflict raised by the Select Board revolves around the Burlington Mall currently having eight liquor licenses available, but Fogo de Chão applied for Besito’s license which came via the town of Burlington. It is the last available liquor license the town has at this time, so the Select Board is continuing to do everything they can to preserve it for a more applicable scenario, likely somewhere else in town besides the Burlington Mall, who has eight available liquor licenses. Fogo adhered to the Select Board and applied for one of the mall’s other liquor licenses, resulting in a unanimous approval from the board almost immediately after filing the new transfer application.

Well, history repeated itself because the Select Board requested Rosa Mexicano to do exactly what Fogo did.

Three years ago, Burlington Town Meeting approved a warrant article granting Burlington Mall site-specific liquor licenses. The mall has used several of them for restaurants, including Parm, Common Craft, and Gyu-Kaku, among others. Yet, town officials confirmed eight remain, which is why the Select Board stood firm in its viewpoint to urge Rosa Mexicano to reapply for one of the mall’s liquor licenses instead of moving forward with Besito’s license.

The Select Board got what they wanted because Rosa Mexicano gave the Besito license back to the town, and the Mexican restaurant filed for a new special legislation license, site-specific to the Burlington Mall.

“Simon [Property Group] values its relationship with the town, so the Besito liquor license has been returned to the town,” confirmed local attorney Mark Vaughan, of Riemer & Braunstein, representing Rosa Mexicano.

The board was satisfied with the outcome, so they unanimously approved the liquor license transfer. Rosa Mexicano plans on opening in the early portion of 2022.