New Mexican restaurant granted a liquor licenseThe Hudson City Council ignored a recommendation from its Finance Committee and granted a Class B liquor license to a new Mexican restaurant Monday night.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson City Council ignored a recommendation from its Finance Committee and granted a Class B liquor license to a new Mexican restaurant Monday night.
Fiesta Loca, which will be opening soon in the Carmichael Centre north of the Target store, will get one of two reserve liquor licenses that became available when the state provided a new estimate of the city’s population.
The 2011 estimate is 12,790, an increase of 890 from the 2010 population of 11,900.
Under the city’s liquor license quota, one license is allowed for every 600 residents, plus the fraction remaining.
The city advertised the availability of the two reserve licenses in the Oct. 20 Star-Observer and on its website. The city collects a $10,000 fee for the reserve licenses it issues.
In a meeting just prior to the City Council meeting, the Finance Committee recommended denying Fiesta Loca’s application for a reserve license on a 2-1 vote.
Council President Lori Bernard, who presided over both meetings in Mayor Alan Burchill’s absence, said two committee members felt the city should wait to see what other applications come in for the reserve licenses.
The City Council — including the Finance Committee members — voted unanimously to grant the application, however, following appeals by German Duran of Fiesta Loca and Lon Feia, owner of the Carmichael Centre.
Duran thanked the council for previously granting his business beer and wine licenses, but said he would prefer to have a liquor license now that one is available. He said margarita drinks, which require a liquor license, are an important part of business for Mexican restaurants.
Feia said Duran was the agent of record for five years at La Fiesta Mexicana, Hudson’s other Mexican restaurant in the Plaza 94 shopping center. He and his wife, Jill, are now starting their own restaurant.
“These are hard-working folks who have proven their resourcefulness and integrity in running a quality business,” Feia said.
He said it would be punitive to deny Duran a license when no one other business had applied for one.
City Clerk Nancy Korson said other parties had taken out applications for the reserve liquor licenses after their availability was advertised. But Duran was the only person to have returned an application to date, she said.
Alderperson Lee Wyland asked if Korson had followed the same process in advertising the reserve licenses as previous times when licenses because available. She said she had.
Wyland then said he thought Fiesta Loca should be awarded a license because the Durans had followed the rules.
Alderpersons Rich Vanselow and John Hoggatt agreed.
Vanselow said everyone had the same opportunity as the Durans to apply for a license.
“I don’t know why we shouldn’t give them a license,” he said.
Hoggatt agreed and noted that another license would still be available.
Vanselow’s motion to grant the license, seconded by Wyland, carried on a voice vote with no one opposing it.