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Liqour licenses continue to dwindle at April’s DABS meeting

Generic bar setup

The headline news from April’s DABS meeting – the likely exhaustion of even more liquor license types. The writing has been on the wall for months, with the reality now starting to hit hard. Here’s a look at the main items from this month’s meeting.

Full service restaurant licenses (beer, wine, liquor)

Going into the April meet, 15 full service licenses remained in the inventory. Come May 5th the updates from this year’s legislative session will see a rather arbitrary 30 more added to the pot. With that in mind, commissioners continued to drive home the message that only those ready to operate would be granted a license moving forward.

Those requirements were confirmed again by commissioners. Those wanting a full service restaurant license should have an appropriate manager in place as well as sufficient and trained employees. A business license should also be in hand including a certificate of occupancy, with a final inspection complete too. Those meeting the criteria this month included:

  • Casa Salvaje, Murray
  • Showdowns Restaurant, Tropic
  • Real Taqueria, Holladay
  • Kaiseki Sushi, St George
  • Cupla Coffee, Salt Lake City
  • Silverside Deli, Salt Lake City
  • Senorita’s 3rd Floor Cantina, Springville
  • Under Canvas, Bryce
  • P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Murray

All the above now receive their full service restaurant licenses. Looking ahead another six should be ready in the coming weeks:

  • Level Crossing Brewing, Salt Lake City, May
  • Matchstick Bar & Grill, West Valley City, May
  • Root’d Cafe, Riverton, June
  • The Crack Shack, Murray, June
  • Silver Reef Brewery Craft & Kitchen, St George, July
  • Pier 8, Orem, July

Meanwhile the following licenses were all approved for transfer to new owners:

  • Rocking V Cafe, Kanab
  • The Viking Yurt, Park City
  • Wingers 9175, West Jordan

Taking the thousand feet view it’s likely we will see the inventory (even with those thirty extra licenses) run dry sometime in the Summer, perhaps Fall. The scenario potentially risks slamming the brakes on what has been a brisk economic (at least in terms of restaurant openings) recovery from the pandemic. Will substantial operators like STK continue to target Utah for expansion with such a challenging environment? Time will tell.

Limited service restaurant applicants (beer, wine)

A relatively humungous 65 limited licenses remain available. These five businesses grabbed one at this month’s meeting:

  • Little India, Heber City
  • Seoul Meat Co., Riverton
  • Old Cuss, South Salt Lake City
  • North Creek Grill, Escalante
  • Oakley Diner, Oakley

Bar licenses

No action in this category, with the state completely out of bar licenses. Come the introduction of May’s legislative boost, another 15 licenses will be added to the overall pool. A reminder then that ten businesses are on the wait list already, with surely more to follow:

  • Pete’s Place Bar & Grill, Ogden
  • Level Crossing Brewing Company, May
  • Second Summit Hard Cider, May
  • Aker Restaurant and Lounge, Salt Lake City, June
  • Neptune’s Palace, Salt Lake City, June
  • Yuki, Salt Lake City, June
  • El Moab Hotel, Moab, July
  • Bout Time Pub & Grub, Tooele, July
  • Marquis, Park City, November
  • Bout Time Pub & Grub, Saratoga Springs, December

Lastly, Mid City Pub & Grill (Midvale) and Bout Time Pub & Grub (Lehi) we’re approved for the ownership transfer of their respective bar licenses.

Beer only restaurant license

Two new restaurants left the meeting with a license to pour beer:

  • Del Mar A Modern Seafood Taqueria, American Fork
  • Canyon Smokehouse, Bluff

Other items

Three other items of note from the meeting. Manoli’s Greek Restaurant (Salt Lake City) and Grappa Restaurant (Park City) were both given the nod for extended closures into May. Flood and fire respectively have caused both businesses to shutter shop while undergoing renovation. Both are expected to be turning the lights back on sometime during May. Lastly, Real Bar & Grill (Sandy) was given the nod permit wise to change their name to Tino’s Taproom, moving from 9200 South State Street, to 1385 South 500 West, Bountiful.

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