State alcohol commission denies BrewHaHa liquor license

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24 2013 2:50 p.m. MDT

A Salt Lake businessman whose plans for a Foothill-area restaurant caused a neighborhood uproar was denied a state liquor license Tuesday.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake businessman whose plans for a Foothill-area restaurant caused a neighborhood uproar was denied a state liquor license Tuesday.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission declined to grant BrewHaHa Bar and Grill owner Bryce Jones a permit that would have allowed him to serve liquor, wine and beer. Commissioners cited limited parking as a main reason for the denial.

"I just think it’s another train wreck coming down the road given the Dodo experience," said Commissioner John T. Nielsen.

Residents previously complained about the Dodo restaurant causing parking problems in surrounding neighborhoods. The restaurant has since moved.

The commission's decision was the latest turn in a months-long feud between Jones and homeowners near his establishment, a former bank he is remodeling as a restaurant at 2108 E. 1300 South.

"I just can't believe that this circus never ends," he told the commission.

Jones said without a license he'll have to be open 24 hours day to make enough money to stay in business, which would be more disruptive to the neighborhood. He could still apply for a license to serve beer and wine only.

"They just can't seem to see their own best interest. They cut off their nose to spite their face," he said.

Jones called the parking issue a "red herring" and said there's plenty of space on 1300 South and 2100 East.

Ross Fulton, a member of the Bonneville Community Council, said neighbors don't trust Jones because he keeps changing his plans. They also question his competence and whether he could comply with the state law requiring restaurants to serve 70 percent food to 30 percent alcohol.

Fulton urged the commission to deny the liquor license based on the lack of parking and potential traffic congestion, late hours of operation and noise. He said BrewHaHa would have the same impact on the neighborhood as the Dodo did.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: dennisromboy

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