Opinion Brewing secures liquor license after Council reversal

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NEWPORT — Opinion Brewing is set to reopen, after winning its liquor license back from the Newport City Council.

The council voted to revoke the license in March, but since the owners have made all of the code corrections needed back when the process began in September 2016, council members found it appropriate to reconsider the motion. They voted to change it from a revocation to a suspension of the liquor license.

The 60-day suspension was retroactive to the original vote in March, meaning that it ended May 7.

The City Council passed resolution 4-1 with council member Bill Sumner opposing.

"I hope we don't have to sit through this again," Sumner said. " ... This has been some nonsense involved with this."

Owners Derrick and Autumn Lehrke have constructed a wall between the bar area and the former bowling alley area that was deemed a code violation several months ago.

The business at 374 21st St., which had been condemned Jan. 1, has been granted an 99-person occupancy under its new renovations.

Derrick Lehrke said at the May 3 meeting that there's still "more to come," as they work with architects and building inspectors to eventually reopen the former bowling area with renovations that follow code. He said he hopes to have space for bands, an area to start brewing beer and maybe a larger kitchen space for a full restaurant.