Ipswich Selectmen Revoke Liquor License

The Salem News reports that Ipswich Selectmen have revoked the all-alcohol liquor license held by Richard Poore, the former owner of the Whittier Motel.

Poore and his company, North Shore Resorts, operated the motel — a landmark at the corner of Routes 1A and 133 — with a restaurant and bar from 1972 until January, when they sold it to Ipswich resident Roger LeBlanc.

Poore’s liquor license is “freestanding,” Selectman Bill Craft said, and did not transfer to the Whittier’s new owner. This spring, LeBlanc has indicated he will not keep the Whittier’s bar and restaurant as he renovates the property.

The liquor license expired in March, but selectmen granted Poore a 45-day extension at their March 7 meeting.

The town sent Poore certified letters in May and June, asking him to appear for a hearing on the license as the extension ended. The letters were returned to Town Hall, unanswered, the Salem News reported.

Poore did not attend the selectmen meeting, and the board revoked the license in a unanimous vote after little discussion.

LeBlanc, a member of the Ipswich Zoning Board of Appeals, brought the property at 120 County Road in late January for $525,000. He soon created a stir in town as he began to renovate the motel.

LeBlanc appeared before his own board in March after being issued a stop order by the building inspector for installing “kitchen amenities,” including cabinets and a sink outside the bathroom in several rooms. The ZBA voted to uphold the stop order on March 31, which Building Inspector James Sperber said changed the building’s use from a motel to an apartment or long-term dwelling, which would require special permits.

At the March 31 meeting, David Ankeles, LeBlanc’s attorney, said LeBlanc intends to remove the Whittier’s swimming pool, restaurant, kitchen, bar and lounge area.

LeBlanc could not be reached for comment after last night’s selectmen meeting.