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Liquor Control Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Liquor Control Board Meeting - July 19, 2017 Minutes

Present: Commissioner Piepkorn, Deputy Police Chief Ross Renner, City Auditor Steve Sprague, Grant Larson, Environmental Health, Commissioner Gehrig
Absent: None
Others Present: Duane Litton, Duffy’s; Dean Bachmeier, Wild Wings; Rick Carik, Rick’s; Dustin Mitzel, Happy Harry’s; David Schlossman, Goldmark; Christine Deibel, Reese Riley Bistro, Other members of the media, concerned citizens and other members of the industry.

Meeting was called to order at 1:30 P.M.

1. Commissioner Piepkorn called the meeting to order and asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of June 21, 2017. There were no additions or corrections to the minutes of June 21, 2017. Moved by Gehrig, seconded by Larson to approve the minutes of the June 21, 2017 meeting of the Liquor Control Board; all voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

2. A. The first application to be considered today is for the issuance of a Class GH alcoholic beverage license to R & R LLC d/b/a Reese Riley Bistro to be located at 2653 45th Street South.

Sprague indicated the applicant had issues with both the credit history and criminal history. There is a bankruptcy from 2012 affecting the credit history, which was the only item of concern in the credit history. Deputy Chief Renner indicated there is an open criminal case involving a vehicle reported as stolen, that case is being charged as a felony theft case. Christine Deibel indicated she did declare bankruptcy in 2012. The criminal case involves a 10 year old claim where her vehicle was stolen, she received insurance proceeds and later took possession of the vehicle, the case is due in court in August 2017. She indicated she has a liquor license in Minnesota and she only has 60 days to open in Fargo. Commissioner Gehrig commented you are innocent until proven guilty and we could take the license back if she was found guilty. Sprague commented the process of revoking a license is a little more time consuming.

Moved by Gehrig, seconded by Larson to approve the issuance of a Class GH alcoholic beverage license to R & R LLC d/b/a Reese Riley Bistro, on roll call vote members voting in favor Gehrig, Larson members voting against Piepkorn, Renner and Sprague Motion Failed.

Moved by Renner, seconded by Sprague to deny the application, roll call vote, members in favor; Renner, Sprague, Piepkorn, members against, Gehrig and Larson. Motion passed. Sprague mentioned if we continue the public hearing, the court case may be settled and the City Commission could approve the application.

B. The second application to be considered today is for the transfer of a Class FA alcoholic beverage license from Lone Star Steak House d/b/a Lone Star to David Schlossman d/b/a SSC-FA to be located at 1535 University Drive South.

Sprague commented that this would be unusual, in other cases where we have transferred a license from a closed business it is to a location where there is an existing restaurant or the location does not change just the licensee. Gehrig asked if there are other FAs available, what is the benefit? Larson asked if the license was renewed, Sprague said the applicant paid to renew the license. Larson commented that if the applicant plans to transfer the license the transferee would need to go through the application and review process too.

Mr. Schlossman mentioned that he is a commercial real estate agent and he is hoping to entice a new restaurant by being able to offer a full service liquor license at a somewhat discounted price. The high fees for the FA license can be a hurdle to new investment. He has a couple of prospects but these arrangements take some time to put together. Having this license could be the difference between the business locating in Fargo versus West Fargo or Moorhead. It is not currently his intention to operate a restaurant but to encourage new business growth. Attorney Morris explained that Fargo Municipal Code 25-1512 explains the situations where the license would terminate; there is a method to extend the time of termination with commission approval.

Moved by Gehrig, seconded by Larson to deny the transfer of a Class FA alcoholic beverage license from Lone Star Steak House d/b/a Lone Star to David Schlossman d/b/a SSC-FA to be located at 1535 University Drive South but to approve a six-month extension of the requirement to sell alcohol. This will allow Mr. Schlossman time to find someone to transfer the license to. All voted in favor, motion carried.

3. Sprague reviewed HB1015 section 19 and its effect on liquor license premise as it relates to special events permits. Attorney Morris commented that the effect of the bill is to allow special serving permits to be used on the regular licensed premise, in her research she determined the City of Fargo already has provisions that allow minors to be on the licensed premise under certain circumstances as defined in 25-1509 K & L. After discussion the Board decided no change is needed to the Fargo Municipal Code.

4. The Board reviewed the Public Notice to advertise the creation of additional licenses and approved the advertising plan.

There being no further business to come before the Liquor Control Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:04 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in the City Commission Room.