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Tales from the DABC – January 2017

HSL - another cocktail, because why not

Ever wondered what happens at those notorious DABC meetings? Well, if you didn’t know, they’re recorded and available online to listen to in full. And they can make for some fascinating and compelling listening. You can listen to the January 31st DABC commission meeting here.

If you ain’t got time for that, I’ll be recapping the more salient and noteworthy points on a monthly basis. These meetings often afford a glimpse at interesting upcoming businesses set to open in Utah and every so often, a dose of controversy too. Interesting items from the January 2017 meeting include:

Waterpocket Distillery
Another distillery was green lit to open production in West Valley City. The total number in Utah is now in the double digits. Owned and operated by Alan and Anna Scott (biochemist and chemical engineer) the distillery aims to produce fruit brandies and liqueurs that “reflect the unique environment of Utah” according to the Alan Scott.

Scott went on to praise the products of the Utah state fruit industry such as peaches, apples, plums and more – and noted that aside from Hive Winery, no one is really exploiting this produce locally in distilled products. And the name? It comes from the the Waterpocket Fold, the primary geographic feature of Capitol Reef national park.

Park City Culinary Institute
A simple change of address from Park City to Salt Lake City opened a proverbial can of worms for business owner Laurie Moldawer. Moldawer was previously issued with a special use educational permit for her culinary education business. The permit was also previously approved (seemingly in error) to operate on a mobile basis around the state. This was called into question by the commission, and despite Moldawer’s repeated attempts to ask for leniency given the massive upheaval to her business, the commission didn’t want to set a precedent and insisted the license apply only to one location. They conceded this move would put strain on Moldawer’s business.

Expect more on this, not least further review and discussion of the special use/educational permits in general that seem to cause endless wrangles.

Trolley Wing Company
Now granted an ultra rare club license. Trolley Wing Company’s owner Jess Wilkerson went into some detail about the cramped quarters the kitchen and bar team battle against, and how the change to a club would really boost the business whose menu has now exploded to everything from smoked to vegan wings.

Cantina De Alamexo
A full service (beer, wine, liquor) license was granted conditionally for the new eatery in the 9th and 9th area. Chef and owner Matt Lake confirmed he expected building work to complete sometime around March-April, albeit with an audibly wry smile suggesting he’s experience more than one building delay in the past . Once it does open, the cantina will serve as the casual sibling to Lake’s existing downtown Alamexo, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.

Tanaka Balance – Over in Logan, Larry Tanaka explained to the commission his customers wanted an “upscale, nice classy place” to get a drink. The commission didn’t feel Tanaka offered up enough justification for the license and invited him to come back to a future meeting, better prepped to address the three prongs. Confusion over Tanaka’s business abounded too – the commission under the belief this was an Asian restaurant – Tanaka explaining the business offers health food.

Limited service licenses
Now able to serve beer and wine: Jinya Ramen Bar (Murray), Sushi Totto (Ogden), Anthony’s Grill & Bar (Ogden), Johnny Slice (Salt Lake City), El Rocoto Restaurant (West Valley City) and Brick Oven (St George, conditionally).

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2 thoughts on “Tales from the DABC – January 2017”

    1. They allude to this item in the meeting but don’t exactly specify, I was intrigued myself. One seems to be a requirements to satisfy a unmet demand of some kind. E.g. if you’re business was opening in an area where no other restaurants served liquor, that would be a plus against that point/prong.

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