BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, NEWS EDITOR
The people hoping to open a microbrewery in Boyne City were unanimously approved to apply for a special liquor license by the Boyne City Commission on Tuesday Jan. 12.
Boyne City Main Street Executive Director Lori Meeder presented the Stiggs Brewing Company’s request to purchase a redevelopment on-premises Class “C” liquor license, similar to the license the city approved for 7 Monks Taproom in recent months, to commissioners during their regular bi-monthly meeting.
“Even going back before the 7 Monks, the first one that we issued of one of these would have been Water Street Cafe,” said Boyne City Manager Michael Cain. “We’ve had no problem with these as they have been issued.”
According to a memo from Meeder to the city commission, licenses may be issued only to businesses within the Boyne City Downtown Development Authority.
And, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission will not transfer this type of license to another location should the Stiggs Brewery move or go out of business. However, a new business in the same location could apply for that license.
“There are several requirements under the redevelopment liquor license: they do have to be engaged in dining, entertainment, (or) recreation and open to the general public; have a seating capacity of at least 25 people; be open a minimum of 10 hours-a-day, five days-a-week; and then they also have to satisfy to the liquor control commission that they have attempted to purchase any liquor licenses that are available within the county,” Meeder said. “They also have to have spent at least $75,000 on rehabbing the building that they’re proposed to go in, and then we have to provide—as a community, as a city—a certification from the assessor and city clerk that we have spent at least $200,000 in the previous five years on public-private investment.”
Meeder said the city has invested nearly $6.5 million in public-private investment.
Boyne City Commissioner Delbert “Gene” Towne said he supports any new development in the city.
Boyne City Commissioner Laura Sansom said she was happy to see another restaurant opening in the city.
Boyne City Commissioner Hugh Conklin said he fully supports the move but said the city may want to review just how many liquor licenses it has approved and how many it plans to approve in the future.
“I don’t know how many is too many. Maybe it’s unlimited,” Conklin said. “But, it might just be something that we kinda talk about as we move forward.”
Boyne City Commissioner Ron Grunch and Mayor Tom Neidhamer also supported the measure.
Neidhamer asked what determines how many liquor licenses are approved.
Cain said that is up to the city commission.
The entire cost of this $20,000 license must be paid by the applicant—there are no costs to Boyne City.
The Stiggs Brewing Company is expected to open this spring at 112 South Park St. in Boyne City.