Liquor licenses approved for NCG Cinemas, proposed mixology business

BURTON — Alcohol might soon be served while watching a movie at NCG Cinema-Courtland Center, 4190 East Court St., if a liquor license approved by the city council Monday is also approved by the state.

The council also approved a liquor license for a proposed mixology business called Drinks of Essence, G-4549 S. Saginaw St.

The only catch to the approvals is there are two liquor licenses remaining in the city, one of which was granted to a business called Brother’s Brunch House in January, meaning NCG and Drinks of Essence will have to wait on the state to see who receives the remaining license.

Clerk Racheal Boggs said she talked to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and was assured they only allocate what’s allowable – with Burton at 20 licenses total based on its population from the 2010 Census.

Liquor licenses, she said, are on a first come basis and NCG filed for its license first, meaning it will likely receive first consideration. In the event Brother’s Brunch House doesn’t finish its application process, she said that license would possibly still be available.

Boggs said her understanding was Drinks of Essence is going to be a business that provides service by and training for bartenders and mixologists. The license will also allow them to serve alcohol.

Councilman Tom Martinbianco said he wasn’t sure about approving either request.

“There are three requests for two licenses,” said Martinbianco. “I’m not sure the theater is going to be a proper venue for that – not sure it’s the best thing for them.”

Councilman Dennis O’Keefe asked if Police Chief Brian Ross had given his approval on both requests, to which Ross replied he had not received anything regarding either establishment.

“After it goes to LARA they send me a packet and ask if I have issues with it,” he said. “If I do, I tell them why. For these, I don’t know that there would be an issue, this is my first time seeing this.”

O’Keefe asked if Ross could see any reason to deny either request, based on what he knows so far, adding the theater has been located at the mall for years and has never been a problem for law enforcement.

Ross agreed he saw no issue with either establishment.

The council voted unanimously to approve the request for a liquor license by NCG Cinemas, while the vote for Drinks of Essence was 5-2, Councilmen Greg Fenner and Danny Wells voting against the request.

Both requests will go on to LARA for final approval.