The Stephen W. Manchester American Legion Post 62’s request to extend its liquor license to include serving alcoholic beverages outdoors in the summer was denied Monday.

The Westbrook City Council based its denial on an ordinance that bans liquor in city parks. The Legion, located at 17 Dunn St., is right next to Riverbank Park and is technically on the same parcel of land, councilors said.

Legionnaires hoped to be able to sell alcohol outdoors during concerts held in its parking lot, said Dennis Morotte, chairperson of the post’s board of directors.

“It’s temporary, only from June to September, one night a week, three hours,” Post Manager Kelly Bernier said at the meeting.

Councilor Gary Rairdon said while he likes that idea, the council’s hands were tied because of the ordinance. Rairdon, who hosts Westbrook Strong 5K at the park, said he previously looked into having Mast Landing provide beers to race-finishers but was restricted from doing so for the same reason.

“It’s not legal,” Councilor David Morse said. “If we want to have a discussion about whether or not the ordinance needs to be revisited, that’s a discussion for another evening.”

Former Post Board Chairperson Phil Spiller criticized the council’s vote. If issues arose because of the outdoor liquor license, he said, the Legion would be the first to shut down the operation. He also argued that the Legion is not actually on the same parcel as the park.

“What’s the harm? If there is a violation, pull it away. I don’t think there’s a legal argument against this,” Spiller said.

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