Liquor license being sought by restaurant to boost business

FLINT TWP. — Diners wanting a glass of wine to go with their kebabs and falafels at Taboon Middle Eastern Restaurant soon may get their wish.

The township board of trustees recently gave its approval to a request to transfer a Class C liquor license to Taboon, 3393 S. Linden Rd., from Laredo Steakhouse, G-2324 S. Ballenger.

The application also requested transfer of the SDM portion of the license to allow sales of liquor for off-premise consumption but the board of trustees excluded that qualification from its approval.

The application goes to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for a final determination. The MLCC cannot consider approval of an application for a new or transferred on-premise license without the consent of the local governing body.

Representatives from Taboon did not return phone calls seeking more information about their plans to serve alcohol at the restaurant.

The application on behalf of Middle Eastern Restaurants Inc. stated it was being sought to “increase business.’’ It also indicated plans to sell the business within the next three years.

Taboon’s is the second liquor license transfer by the board of trustees in the past month. In July, the board approved a license transfer to Fazoli’s Italian Restaurant on Corunna Road. Fazoli’s restaurant owners said they wanted to fulfill customers’ requests for alcohol served with meals. The restaurant owners also said they wanted the liquor license as part of a plan to convert Fazoli’s to an upscale hamburger restaurant.

The availability of liquor licenses is limited by the MLCC. In Flint Township there are five escrowed licenses with applications pending for two of them, according to data as of August 7 on the MLCC web site. One of them is from the Ruby Tuesday restaurant at Genesee Valley Center which closed when its lease expired in December after 21 years at that location.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Restaurant Association said he has not seen evidence of a trend of more restaurants seeking liquor licenses to bolster sales. Only about one-fourth of MRA members have liquor licenses, he said. The importance of having one varies from business to business, he added, noting that McDonald’s restaurants are surviving just fine without liquor sales despite an economic downturn affecting many businesses including restaurants.

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