Woodbury to reduce food to alcohol sales ratioA popular Woodbury pub not meeting its food sales requirement prompted a change in the city’s liquor license ordinance.
By: Riham Feshir, Woodbury Bulletin
A popular Woodbury pub not meeting its food sales requirement prompted a change in the city’s liquor license ordinance.
O’Malley’s Irish Pub missed the mark in 2011 by 5 percent, according to a city report.
The business has continuously failed to meet the 50-50 food-to-alcohol ratio required by the city’s liquor license.
But that doesn’t make it a full-fledged bar unwelcome in a suburb like Woodbury just because it sells less food, Woodbury City Council agreed.
City Council decided it would be best to reduce the ratio to at least 40 percent food sales, which gives businesses like O’Malley’s a little more flexibility.
“We don’t want to turn this to more than it needs to be,” Council Member Paul Rebholz said at a Wednesday workshop.
Previously, the city would put alcohol-serving establishments on probation that forced them to close one hour earlier, at 1 a.m.
But because O’Malley’s was only a few percentage points off, and had no problems with police, the city is making the change.
“I don’t want to tell them if they close earlier they might sell more food,” Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said, adding, “It just seems ridiculous to have this come back year after year.”
The previous probationary period required O’Malley’s to work out a new marketing strategy to increase food sales.
“It’s really not fair to the business owner who’s been running the business in sort of a way that the community expects,” Rebholz said.
At first the council was leaning more toward putting O’Malley’s on probation without conditions until compliance issues are worked out.
But Rebholz said it’s not a good idea to pick and choose what establishment is put on probation under what conditions.
The ordinance will soon be amended to reflect the change for all establishments in Woodbury.
Public Safety Director Lee Vague said just because the percentage is reduced, doesn’t mean that businesses would attract crime like other full-fledged bars would.
“I don’t have any indication that a 45 percent is worse than a 50 percent,” he said.