Two downtown hotspots up for review in front of the city’s Alcohol License Review Committee Wednesday were met with mixed results after the committee granted Logan’s Madtown Restaurant and Bar time to find legal counsel and deferred a request for additions to T. Sushi.
ALRC granted Logan’s a period of time to seek legal advice before its hearing after complaints were filed that the establishment operates more as a bar than the restaurant for which it is licensed.
Logan’s owner Adam Mais requested extra time to find legal counsel, as he had not yet secured an attorney for the hearing. This was Mais’ first appearance before ALRC members.
ALRC created a three-person subcommittee to conduct the hearing, which has yet to confirm a date. David Hart, the committee’s chairperson, said members could decide on a date as early as two weeks and as late as mid-November.
The committee also heard a request for expansion from T. Sushi owner Teddy Stevens. Stevens said he would like to expand his restaurant to the second level of the building as a result of increased sales.
“We’re getting tables for an hour [to] an hour and a half, and people are just leaving,” Stevens said. “We’re losing money and we’re negative.”
Stevens would like to add 30 tables to an upstairs seating area and have two more sushi cases there. He maintained that he would like the establishment to remain a restaurant and has no intention of T. Sushi becoming a club or bar.
However, the committee questioned Steven’s plan.
“You have a history of wanting to do one thing and doing something else,” ALRC member Thomas Landgraf said. “Were it not someone with your focus and recognizing where the landmines are buried, you might run amok and have a nightclub.”
The request was deferred to the next meeting, provided that Stevens provides a floor plan of what he intends for the upstairs.
The committee also approved a license for the sub shop Cheba Hut to sell beer during its Wednesday night meeting. Richard Wooton, who is opening the shop, said he would like to sell beer to remain competitive with other shops.
Wooton was convicted of possession of marijuana and attempt to sell five years ago. This posed an issue for the council, as city legislation states ALRC cannot grant a license to someone convicted of a felony substantially related to an alcohol license.
Wooton explained he has come a long way since his arrest.
“It was something in my life that I regret, but at the same time I have grown from it,” Wooton said. “In general I’m a good person. This is a big investment, and I don’t want to mess it up.”
Wooton spent five years in prison and has since been to rehabilitation and graduate school. ALRC ultimately voted to grant Wooton approval.
However, ALRC did not grant approval to a similar case. Brad Young, an employee at Applebee’s wishing to enter a management-training program, requested an operating license.
Young has significant legal history, including burglary, though he stressed during the meeting he has made major changes in his life.
“I turned my life around,” Young said. “I think it shows in my record. Essentially, I just changed my life from the ground up. I don’t do the things I used to do. Things are going well. The operator’s license is really important to me for my job to be able to move on.”
The committee agreed that while it believes Young to be capable of an operating license, it would like to see a letter from his management at Applebee’s before approval.
The next ALRC meeting, set to tackle questions of T. Sushi expansion, will take place in mid-November.