By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — An alcoholic beverage permit renewal for a Phillips 66 gas station in Warsaw has been denied by the Kosciusko County Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
The denial was due to several violations, including the sale of alcohol to minors.
Hazera Begum, doing business as H&E Express Mart, 2518 E. Center St., Warsaw, was present at the meeting. Begum is the gas station’s owner. During the July 1 ATC meeting, Begum said the location had a violation involving the sale of alcohol to a minor. Begum told the board this violation occurred two months before the permit’s renewal and that the business had no violations since then. The violation Begum was at the meeting for happened in January.
Board members asked State Excise Officer April Tackett about the business’s recent violations. Aside from the January violation of selling alcohol to a minor, the company had violations in August 2020 and October 2020. Tackett also said the business did have a violation following the January incident, which occurred on June 24.
“It’s very well-known in Warsaw that this is a place where minors can buy beer,” said Board President Elim Smith. “I’ve had people come to me and talk to me about it. The other board members have had the same thing. It’s a violation that keeps happening with this company and this location. The community is fed up with this. I just don’t think we should renew the license.”
Board Member Alan Alderfer seconded Smith’s motion to deny the renewal.
“They have become a public nuisance due to selling alcohol to minors,” said Alderfer.
All three board members and Tackett moved to deny the permit.
This motion will now go forward to the state’s commission, which has upcoming meetings on July 7 and 13. Once Begum’s permit is brought to the state, they can either support the denial or overrule the local board’s motion. If the state commission votes to deny the renewal, Begum will have the option to appeal the decision.
In other business, a permit transfer for HSB Grill LLC, doing business as Huntington Street Bar & Grill, 704 N. Huntington St., Syracuse, was approved. Travis Luke, one of the business’s owners, was present at the meeting.
A new permit application for George and Angie’s Pub LLC, doing business as George’s Highlander, 204 E. State St., Etna Green, was continued to the local board’s August meeting. No representatives for the company were present at this month’s meeting, leading to the continuance.
Five permit transfers for four Pizza King locations in the county were also continued to the board’s August meeting. Troy McKee, director of operations for the northern territory of Morstor Inc., doing business as Pizza King, said the company had not received orange signs to post in their windows about the permit transfers.
The following permits were renewed with no violations:
- Das Restaurants LLC, doing business as SS Lillypad II, 1112 S. Harkless Drive, Syracuse. Beer, wine and liquor – excursion boat.
- KH Brewing Co. LLC, doing business as Hoplore Brewing, 100 S. Old SR 15, Leesburg. Beer, wine and liquor – restaurant.
- Liefde Café LLC, doing business as Café Liefde, 105 W. Main St., Syracuse. Beer, wine and liquor – river and lake.
- Oakwood Resort LLC, doing business as Oakwood Inn, 702 E. Lakeview Road, Syracuse. Beer, wine and liquor – hotel.
- Port Winona, 807 E. Canal St., Winona Lake. Beer and wine retailer – restaurant.
- RT Michiana Franchise LLC, doing business as Ruby Tuesday, 3308 E. Center St., Warsaw. Beer, wine and liquor – restaurant.
- RTM Enterprise LLC, doing business as Miotto’s Main Street Bar and Grill, 132 S. Main St., Milford. Beer, wine and liquor – restaurant.
- Service Liquors, 108 S. Lake St., Warsaw. Beer, wine and liquor – package store.
The local ATC board’s next meeting will be held in-person at the Kosciusko County Courthouse at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5.