Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Liquor at a cafe?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2005
    Location
    New York's beautiful Hudson Valley
    Posts
    155

    Liquor at a cafe?

    A restaurant recently opened in our city. The owner received a variance for the business, which is in an area zoned multi-family residential. (As a side note, the location is ideal for a restaurant despite the current zoning - and in fact the entire area is about to be rezoned for mixed use)

    Nothing in the original application for either the variance or subsequent site plan approval mentioned a liquor license. But apparently a liquor license was applied for and granted by the state and I have now gotten a compliant that the the variance was for a restaurant/cafe and not for a bar. I would not characterize the existing business as a bar since there is table service and they are serving food, but our zoning does not have a definition of either restaurant or bar.

    How do other municipalities handle liquor licenses? Does an intention to serve liquor necessarily have to be included in an application for a restaurant? Any thought would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
    Registered
    May 2002
    Location
    The Bluegrass Region . . . for now
    Posts
    1,024
    In my experience, it depends on the general regulations of your municipality. Generally, if a place can serve food, they can apply for a license, although specifics change from place to place. If they got a legal permit from the alcohol permitting agency, I'd tell the people that it was legal and out of your hands, unless the serving of alcohol was prohibited as a condition of their CUP.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,893
    In all of the communities I have worked with on this issue, the liquor license is issued by the community subject to state laws (usually limiting the number of licenses that can be made available). In these cases, most have also adopted a requirement for a CUP to dispense alchohol. Some go even further to make restaurants subject to a CUP.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    I'm surprised liquor licenses aren't issued by the city in your case, or did I misread that?

    We classify bars, restaurants with liquor, and restaurants without liquor all separately..

    In our lowest commercial classification (C-1, neighborhood level commercial) liquor sales of any kind require a conditional use, although restaurants are permitted... in our higher classifications (community, regional, and downtown) it is permitted, although the liquor license itself still has to go through city council (i think they are typically consent agenda items unless there is reason for greater debate)

    I know in our city outdoor service is a bit of an issue, we had a national fast-casual chain that wanted to have an outdoor seating area and had to go through a CUP process to let the 1% of patrons who buy a bottle of beer take it outside, until other land development issues (like Right of Way dedication) kicked in and they just decided that a 8.5x11 sign that says "please don't take beer outside" was less hassle.

    the underlying issue is that we don't really differentiate between a beer garden and an outdoor service area where people might have an adult beverage... something we might want to look at.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,101
    Quote Originally posted by FightingIllini07 View post
    I'm surprised liquor licenses aren't issued by the city in your case, or did I misread that?

    We classify bars, restaurants with liquor, and restaurants without liquor all separately..

    My municipality works in a similar fashion. For restaurants, the alcohol portion is identifed as a use by Right or by CUP. Generally speaking, if the primary use is a restaurant which happens to serve alcohol, the restaurant just needs to comform to the regulations of our state alcohol licensing agency (Cal Dept. of ABC). However, in our commercial-residential type transitional district (C-2 "Neighborhood Convenience Commercial"), a restaurant can only serve alcohol (with meals) if they recieve a conditional use permit. We also provide a distinction between a restaurant with alcohol and a cocktail lounge/beer bar, as does the ABC licensing board (they call it a bona fide public eating place if they serve food). If your (ssc) municipality uses similar language or makes that distinction, then that could clear up idea that the Use Variance was for the restaurant/cafe rather than a bar. Basically, it depends largely on the zone as well as proximity to residential uses (which is governed by our ABC).

  6. #6
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Jukin' City
    Posts
    16,366
    Here in the Sunshine State, the state issues liquor licenses only after the local jurisdiction confirms the use is consistent with local zoning regulations. Our jurisdiction has minimum separation requirements from various land uses based on the type of liquor license (beer and wine for off-premises consumption, beer and wine for on-premises consumption, etc, etc, the list is endless).
    What would RJ do?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2006
    Location
    cyclone land
    Posts
    58
    Unless the ordinance said something about serving alcohol, it seems like the licensing body figured that a liquor license in that area would not be a problem. Guess the concerned parties should take it up with the licensing board.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian developmentguru's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2008
    Location
    My hammock. Not really. My office.
    Posts
    61
    In Texas, we have a Food & Beverage Certificate - it certifies that more than half of the sales are generated by food sales and not alcohol sales. The state issues these and verifies these, it's a huge help. If they have one they can produce, we classify it as restaurant/cafe/retail. If they cannot, we classify it as a bar.
    "In our profession, a plan that everyone dislikes for different reasons is a success. A plan everyone dislikes for the same reason is a failure. And a plan that everyone likes for the same reason is an act of God." - Richard Carson

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Land use: general Cafe tables on the sidewalk
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 34
    Last post: 10 Jun 2014, 10:44 AM
  2. Best liquor for eggnog?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 12
    Last post: 10 Dec 2012, 10:22 AM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last post: 29 Nov 2004, 2:38 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last post: 03 May 2004, 8:54 AM
  5. Internet Cafe
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 28 Nov 2003, 2:06 PM