Little Silver Council OKs Liquor Guidelines
The ordinance limits the number of barstools to one stool per four dining seats or to one stool for every two feet of bar counter. The maximum capacity of the bar/lounge area will be limited to a maximum of 100 patrons, restricting it to no more than 50 seats, not more than 25 stools and standing capacity of no more than 25.Outdoor dining and serving of drinks and outdoor music would not be permitted, and the location must have food service in its interior during all hours of operation, among the other requirements and stipulations detailed in the ordinances.“This was two years in the making. This wasn’t done lightly,” Galante noted of the ordinances for the small audience on hand for the ordinance public hearing and final vote.Officials explained there are no current plans to build and open a business that would use this license. The borough plan, Neff explained, is to reach out to the state Division of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) about conducting some sort of auction or bidding process for potential purchases of the license. By John BurtonLITTLE SILVER – Details governing the borough’s first-ever consumption liquor license were approved at Monday’s Borough Council meeting.The council passed two ordinances, laying out the parameters for the license and constraints for the future establishment.“We’re trying to do this in the best and safest way we can,” said Mayor Robert C. Neff Jr.Under the conditions in the approved ordinance, any future restaurant/bar would have to be established in the borough’s commercially zoned areas and would have to pass muster with the borough Planning Board and local zoning requirements before it can be established, according to Councilman Donald Galante. Any potential buyer would also have to meet all the stringent requirements the ABC has in place, officials added. And the eventual owner would have up to one year to open an establishment for the license’s use. It couldn’t be held as what is commonly called a “pocket license,” an inactive license, Galante explained.In response to an audience question, Galante noted liquor licenses around the state cost anywhere from $350,000 “to even a million (dollars).” But “we’re in uncharted waters here,” given the borough, as far as anyone can remember, has never had an on-premise, commercial consumption liquor license, Neff said.A majority of voters cast ballots last November on a referendum to allow the community to allow its first consumption license. Two previous attempts to pass a voter referendum, in 1976 and then in 1981, were unsuccessful.The idea, according to borough resident Matt Kelly, who spearheaded the initiative, was to allow for a family-style location where residents can gather following local sporting and other borough events.As it currently stands, the borough has two retail licenses, one for the Little Silver Bottle Shop, 497 Prospect Ave., which sells beer and wine as well as spirits; and the Acme supermarket, 507 Prospect Ave., which is permitted to sell only unrefrigerated beer and wine. Diners are allowed to bring their own beer and wine to local restaurants.Under current state regulations, municipalities are allowed to issue new licenses for every 3,000 residents. With its current population at roughly 5,950, Little Silver is allowed only the one consumption license.