A group of Salt Lake City neighbors got their wish on Tuesday when the state liquor commission denied BrewHaHa Bar & Grill a limited service restaurant license.
Owner Bryce Jones was upset about the unanimous vote by four members of the commission’s compliance and licensing committee. However, he still plans to open his restaurant at 2108 E. 1300 South once construction is complete.
"Initially, I’ll just operate as a restaurant and prove there will be no ill effects from traffic and noise," Jones said after the decision.
Area residents were opposed to having a bar or tavern in the area, saying that it would create parking problems, traffic and safety issues as well as noise.
"The proposed use is too intense for the property," Ross Fulton, of the Bonneville Hills Community Council, told the commission.
Those were the same arguments that residents brought to the commission in August. At that time, the liquor-control commission refused to grant BrewHaha a full-service restaurant permit that would have allowed hard liquor sales in addition to beer and wine.
However, Jones decided to come back this month and ask for a limited-service restaurant permit that would have allowed just beer and wine.
He said he felt "betrayed" because he was led to believe BrewHaHa could get the limited-service license this month.
However, that was before state liquor compliance officer Keith Zuspan made a surprise visit to BrewHaHa earlier this month.
"I couldn’t find a parking spot and had to park down the street," Zuspan told the commission.
Jones does have a Salt Lake City restaurant permit. However,he previously asked the Salt Lake Planning Commission’s approval to open a beer pub, and that request also was turned down.
Club permits • On Tuesday, the state liquor commission also awarded two coveted club licenses to the BTG Wine Bar,in downtown Salt Lake City and Olde Town Tavern in Midvale.
BTG owner Fred Moesinger was thrilled to finally get the club license.
Last month, after nearly a year of waiting, Moesinger took the only liquor license available, a temporary summer permit that was only good through October.
BTG, an acronym for by the glass, is located at 63 W. 100 South, a few doors down from Cafe Molise, the Italian restaurant that Moesinger has owned for 20 years.
With a permanent club license Moesinger said he will be able to move forward with the business, hiring permanent staff and "doing some marketing."
Commission Chairman David Gladwell recommended that Olde Town get a club license because of it’s mid-valley location. Gladwell said so many of the new licenses go to establishments in Park City and Salt Lake city it was time to spread them across the entire valley.
There are still 12 businesses waiting for Utah club licenses.
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