Preliminary approval granted for additional liquor licenses

The City Council’s Ordinance Committee on Monday approved a request to increase the number of liquor licenses downtown to 50 from 23. The order, approved in an 8-to-1 vote, still needs to be voted on by the full council. If approved there, a home rule petition will be sent to the Legislature, which has to approve any increase in the number of licenses. “The availability of these licenses is critical for the success of the downtown,” said Assistant City Solicitor Paul Hines. “We’re trying to create a destination spot.” The city’s development partner, Beal/Street-Works had initially planned to ask for 50 additional licenses, but officials felt a small request would be more palatable to wary lawmakers. The request would allow 23 pouring licenses, one beer and wine only license, two “inn-holder” licenses for hotels, and one all-alcohol package store license.