Extension sought by owner for restaurant opening in old post officeThe restaurateur planning to open an Italian American restaurant in the old Hudson post office is asking the City Council for a 120-day extension on putting the establishment’s liquor license to use.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The restaurateur planning to open an Italian American restaurant in the old Hudson post office is asking the City Council for a 120-day extension on putting the establishment’s liquor license to use.
Russell Evenson’s request is on the agenda for the council’s meeting next Monday night, April 9.
Evenson, who operates The Village Pizzeria in Amery, was granted the liquor license for the Hudson restaurant on Dec. 19, 2011. The City Council at that time gave him a 30-day extension to the 90-day deadline on beginning operations, or until April 30, 2012.
The for sale or lease sign has remained in place in front of the old post office at 225 Locust St., and there has been little or no construction taking place.
“We haven’t closed on the building yet,” Evenson said in a phone call Tuesday morning asking him why the for sale sign is still on the building.
“We’ve got our state-approved plans. Now everything is ready to start closing on it. I just have to be assured that I get a liquor license. I don’t want to close on the building until I know the time frame for the liquor license,” he said.
Last November, Evenson asked the City Council to allow him to delay the start-up of the restaurant until August, saying the old post office would take extensive renovation and the addition of a kitchen.
The council at that time was limited by city ordinance to a 30-day extension to the 90-day grace period for beginning operations. Since then, it has amended the ordinance to allow an extension “as it deems reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances.”
Alderpersons were persuaded by the argument that owners in some cases need more than 90 days to open an establishment, and can’t commit to a project until they know they will have a liquor license.
The additional 120 days Evenson is asking for would give him until the end of August to open his restaurant, The Postmark Grill.
He has two daughters who are Hudson residents, Erica Schletty and Heidi Johnson, and will be involved in the operation of the restaurant.
The owners of the Azul Tequila Bar & Grill coming to a strip mall next to the Aldi store on Hanley Road are also asking for an extended period of time to begin operations.
When the City Council approved the Mexican restaurant’s liquor license on Feb. 27 it was given 120 days, or until the end of June, to begin operations.
The owners said a build-out of the 5,400-square-foot space would be necessary.