It was over in a flash.
In less than two minutes, the Belmont couple seeking to open a store selling artisanal beers were awarded a retail liquor license from the Board of Selectmen on Monday, Aug. 17.
"We are so pleased to be bringing our business to Belmont, our hometown," said Suzanne Schalow, who along with her partner, Kate Baker, are preparing to open the Craft Beer Cellar at 51 Leonard St. by Nov. 1.
After hearing from Assistant Town Administrator Jeffrey Conti that no town departments had voiced any objections to the operation, Selectmen Ralph Jones and Mark Paolillo then moved quickly to approve the application.
Baker and Schalow, a pair of acknowledged "Hop Heads" who have said they want to "change the world one beer at a time," said renovations to the store adjacent to Champions Sports Goods will be underway in a few weeks.
They are hoping for a Nov. 1 opening.
"We will be submitting a food license tomorrow and hope that all our stuff is in order," said Schalow, who with Baker, have worked at Cambridge Commons restaurant and the Lizard Lounge for the past decade.
Joining the couple celebrating the news were their neighbors, Wayne and Kana Mesard of Ash Street.
"It's a good thing," said Wayne, who lived in Belmont in the late 1980s before moving way for ten years before returning.
"When I got back the only thing that changed was they got cable," he said.
"So it now looks like stuff is finally coming to Belmont," said Wayne.
"And we're thirsty," said Kana.
The speed at which the 10-year Ash Street residents received their license is in marked contrast to just three years ago when there was considerable debate on approving the first retail liquor licenses to two wine stores.
"People see what a draw these are," said Jones before the start of the meeting describing both local retail operations and eateries holding alcohol licenses.
The Cellar will stock a wide variety of beers - they expect to sell more single bottles than six-packs – some locally bottled wine and a small selection of beer food that will go with their inventory of independently brewed full-flavored ales, pilsners, stouts and lagers.