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Liquor, wine, beer: Atlanta to resume issuing alcohol permits to bars, restaurants

David Pendered
An alcohol permit could be approved Thursday for a show bar and restaurant, Future. File/Credit: Kelly Jordan

By David Pendered

A gay-oriented show bar and restaurant at Underground Atlanta is among the businesses that could get an alcohol license approved Thursday at the first meeting since Feb. 25 of the city’s License Review Board.

An alcohol permit could be approved Thursday for a show bar and restaurant, Future. File/Credit: Kelly Jordan

The Future Show Bar and Restaurant vows on its website, The Resurgence of Gay Atlanta Nightlight is Coming Soon! Featured entertainment is to include a weekly drag cabaret and a Fantasy Girls Cabaret, hosted by Future and Phoenix Entertainment. The restaurant is to offer a full menu.

Future has applied for two permits to sell liquor, beer and wine – one for a restaurant at 50 Lower Alabama St., and one at the same address in a downstairs facility.

The hospitality industry interprets the License Review Board meeting in a positive light. Revenues at restaurants and bars have been decimated by the closures related to COVID-19, prompting layoffs of significant numbers of employees.

Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, responded via email Tuesday afternoon to a question about the import of the meeting:

  • “The Georgia Restaurant Association is pleased that the City of Atlanta will allow the License Review Board to conduct hearings virtually. Restaurants who had been delayed in obtaining their licenses due to COVID-19 will now be allowed serve alcohol in their establishment. This will bring a much needed revenue stream as restaurants re-open to serve their communities.”

The agenda for Thursday’s virtual meeting of the License Review Board is not unusually long.

A total of 57 license applications are to be reviewed. That’s more than the 49 items that were considered at the previous meeting, but fewer than the 67 that were on the agenda of the Jan. 14 meeting.

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant is one of the 57 applications. Iron Hill is seeking permission to operate a brew pub with beer consumed on premises. The business is located in Buckhead, in the EDENS’ Lenox Marketplace, located at 3535 Peachtree Road.

The License Review Board typically doesn’t garner public attention. Some of those situations involve the sale of alcohol to minors – the review board can remove the establishment’s alcohol permit. The review board considers applications for alcohol sales and other adult-oriented services including:

  • Escort services;
  • Lingerie modelers;
  • Massage parlors;
  • Pawnshops;
  • Wrecker companies;
  • Tattoo parlors.

The agenda of the Feb. 25 meeting provides insights into the duration of the pandemic closure of functions of Atlanta’s government, including the License Review Board. Two of the alcohol licenses approved Feb. 25 provided for two events that were delayed:

  • The National Black Arts Festival Gala won permission to serve liquor, beer and wine at an all-day event March 26. The event was postponed;
  • The Edgewood Mac & Cheese Festival won permission to serve liquor, beer and wine at an outdoor festival on March 28. Organizers postponed the event until Oct. 24, hoping that by autumn the event can be staged to raise money to help provide home and safety improvements those with low incomes in the Edgewood, Kirkwood and East Lake neighborhoods.

 

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David Pendered
David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.

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