2016-02-15 Liquor License Transfer Hearing

FEBRUARY 15, 2016
Council met in special session regarding the transfer of a liquor license on Monday, February 15, 2016. Mundie called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.
Council President Jack Mundie, Council Vice President Jean Mope, and Council Members Grace Cuozzo, Bob Gavio and Dave Sosar were present. Also present was Attorney Brian Vinsko on behalf of the Applicant.
This hearing was conducted to receive public comments and discuss the transfer of Liquor License #R1047 and LID #68107 from Charles Fox t/d/b/a The Ugly Mug, 217-219 Main Street, White Haven, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania to Sazon Latino Restaurant Corporation for premises located at 58 North Wyoming Street, Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
Attorney Brian Vinsko said the Sazon Latino Restaurant Corporation has been in business for five years. It will still be a restaurant but the owner would like to add a small bar to it. They currently operate Monday through Saturday from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Sunday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. When they receive the liquor license, they would like to extend the hours to 12:00 midnight, Monday through Saturday, and to 10:00 pm on Sunday. This extension of time would fall under the Liquor Control Board’s rules and regulations. Sosar questioned the current number of liquor licenses in Hazleton. Vinsko responded he did not know the specific number, but there is certain number of licenses based on per capita for each municipality. He added that there is also a certain number allowed for each of the different types of liquor licenses. Sosar asked about the food and liquor that will be served. Vinsko said there is no delineation during the week, but on Sundays, there is a minimum of approximately 40% food service. There is a statutory law that indicates the amount for Sundays only. He stated that only two 16 ounce six-packs, totaling 192 ounces, can be sold at one time. Cuozzo asked Mayor Cusat how many bars are currently in town, but he did not know. Mundie asked how many people the restaurant seats and Vinsko said 36 to 40 people. Cuozzo asked if there is any additional off-street parking available. Vinsko responded no, it is all street parking. Mundie asked about the remodeling. Vinsko stated it is nothing structural. He showed Council the schematics and some pictures. Mundie asked how do you know what licenses are available. Vinsko replied there is a list of licenses on the PLCB website, and they are listed by county. Some are available for sale, some are in escrow, and some are dormant, but the owners are not willing to sell them at this time. Attorney Sean Logsdon asked if he and Vinsko could stipulate that the number of existing liquor licenses in Hazleton exceeds one license per 3,000 inhabitants, and that is why you applied this way to have the liquor license transfer done. Vinsko agreed. Logsdon said this establishes that City Council has the jurisdiction to hear this matter.
Mundie adjourned the meeting at 6:45 pm.

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