Brewhaha will reapply for liquor license with new name

Published December 17, 2013 10:29 am

Application • Gusto! seeks liquor license to serve beer and wine.
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After a months-long liquor brouhaha, Salt Lake City business owner Bryce Jones has finally opened Brewhaha and Gusto!

The combination coffee shop and deli at 2108 E. 1300 South, isn't the bar Jones had originally planned.

But it may satisfy concerned residents and the Utah Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (UDABC) enough to qualify for a state liquor license.

"We maintained the Brewhaha name for the coffee drive-through," Jones said Monday, opening day. "But we renamed the restaurant part of the business to make it sound more like a restaurant."

Now that he's open and serving food he will once again ask for limited-service restaurant liquor license that would allow him to sell beer and wine. The state liquor commission is expected to discuss Jones' new application Tuesday, during its last monthly meeting of 2013.

After being denied twice before, Jones is hopeful he'll finally find liquor success.

"We had to be open and selling food before they would let us come back," Jones said of the UDABC. "And that's what we did."

Brewhaha opened at 5:30 a.m. on Monday selling coffee and other beverages — non-alcoholic, of course — at its drive-up window. Around 11:30 a.m. it began lunch service, offering soups, salads and sandwiches. A grill should be installed within the next month, which will allow for an expanded menu.

"We changed the name, not just to play their game," Jones said. "We want to sound like a restaurant because that's what we are going to be. There are no bar stools or cocktail tables."

It's the latest chapter in a liquor saga that has brewed for months.

Earlier this year, the Salt Lake Planning Commission turned down Jones' request for a beer pub after residents said it would create parking problems, noise and traffic and safety issues.

Jones switched gears and was granted a Salt Lake City restaurant permit.

In August, however, when he applied for a full-service restaurant liquor permit that would have allowed the restaurant to sell beer, wine and hard spirits, residents complained again and the liquor commission denied the request.

One month later, Jones applied for a limited-service restaurant license that would allow only beer and wine sales with food. That request also was denied.