East-side brouhaha over alcohol license still stirring
SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City businessman whose plans for an east-side tavern drew intense neighborhood opposition wants a state liquor license for the restaurant he opened instead.
The Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has turned down Bryce Jones' applications for three permits since last summer for his proposed BrewHaHa Bar and Grill. Commissioners cited limited parking as the main reason for the denials.
Now, Jones wants a beer and wine license for newly renamed Gusto!, the eatery he opened about three months ago at 2108 E. 1300 South.
"There is no traffic problem. There is no parking problem," he told the commission Tuesday.
But commissioners weren't willing to take Jones' word for it. They put off his license request for at least a month.
Commission Chairman David Gladwell asked him to come back with agreements from neighboring businesses for additional parking. He also wants Jones to invite a Salt Lake City planning official to the meeting to assure commissioners that Gusto! won't disrupt traffic if it gets an alcohol permit.
Jones said the commission is requiring him to do things that other restaurants did not have to do for a license. He said he has 17 parking spaces and that there are another 100 on nearby streets.
Residents in the area have fought Jones' proposals from day one. They have told the commission they don't trust him because he keeps changing his plans. They also question whether he could comply with the state law requiring restaurants to serve 70 percent food to 30 percent alcohol.
Neighbors asked the commission to deny his previous license requests based on the lack of parking and potential traffic congestion, late hours of operation and noise.
Residents previously complained about the Dodo restaurant causing parking problems in surrounding neighborhoods. The restaurant has since moved.
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