Downtown liquor license hearing slated
August 20, 2010
City council has scheduled a public hearing regarding a liquor license application, giving residents an opportunity to give their input.
At a recent meeting, council members voted unanimously to schedule the hearing for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in the municipal building’s council chambers. It will precede council’s monthly meeting.
City Manager Jim Nelles said Mardi Gras owners Don Navaroli and Bill Lyon want to apply for an economic development liquor license through the state. The owners have paid a required $500 fee for council to take up the issue, he said.
Navaroli addressed council regarding the application. He said he bought the former Veterans of Foreign Wars building on Pennsylvania Ave. W. with Lyon last September.
“The board has already issued us a license,” Navaroli said. “This will upgrade it.”
The establishment has met what the board wanted by fulfilling its rules and regulations, Navaroli said. He said the restaurant has a food-oriented menu.
“In my opinion, you’ve proven that,” Council Vice President Maurice Cashman said. “I’ve been in there before.”
Later, Navaroli said the city has to certify the building stands in a designated economic redevelopment area. If council approves, he said it only gives the owners permission to apply to the state.
The state will charge between $25,000 and $50,000 for the license, Navaroli said, depending on population. He said establishments in cities like Pittsburgh pay the higher fees.
The upgrade would allow the restaurant to sell any kind of alcoholic beverage, Navaroli said. Currently, he said the establishment’s malt beverage license only permits the sale of beer.
Under VFW ownership, Navaroli said the building had a full-service license which gave owners the right to sell any alcohol. This lasted for 30 or 40 years, he said, so he does not anticipate any problem with obtaining the license.
Council wanted to know if the restaurant had any violations, Navaroli said. During the year it has remained in business, he said it has not committed any violations.
In addition, Navaroli said council asked if the owners had any licenses for other establishments. He said they also have a license for Legends which has not committed any Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board violations since beginning in 1992.