Many voters to decide on liquor laws

PHOTO BY JACOB GURNEY Buffalo Wild Wings, 100 Shaffer Park Drive, is one of eight businesses in Seneca County asking voters to allow them to sell liquor on Sundays.

Voters in various precincts will be asked on to the Nov. 7 ballot to allow several restaurants and bars to sell wine and spirituous liquor on Sundays.

Director James Ehrman of Seneca County Board of Elections said eight businesses are applying for liquor licenses to allow them to sell on Sundays.

“There are definitely more than in most elections,” he said.

The restaurants are, in Tiffin, Buffalo Wild Wings, 100 S. Shaffer Park Drive; Coco’s Sports Bar and Grill, 271 S. Sandusky St.; Double Barrel Bar & Grill, 295 Vine St.; GW’s Fine Food and Spirits, 275 S. Washington St. and Stiney’s Three Oaks Tavern, 255 Second Ave.; in Republic, Fatheads Family Restaurant, 218 Washington St., and Smokey’s Family Restaurant & Tap, 205 Washington St.; and in New Riegel, Sauced, 7889 W. CR 10.

Multiple owners said that New Year’s Eve falling on a Sunday this year was at least a contributing factor for the license, but it is not the only reason.

Fatheads owner Patricia Mattson said she’s seeking a license mostly because of New Year’s Eve, but she also thinks this is the right time to do it.

“A lot people come in and would like a margarita on a Sunday and, unfortunately, we can’t do it,” she said.

She said the additional license is about $500 extra a year and thinks it will get approved.

“Hopefully we wont have a problem with it,” she said. “I don’t think we will.”

Coco’s owner Dave Sauber said while the decision to apply for a permit was somewhat based on New Year’s Eve, he said the business also is expanding with a new kitchen.

“We get a lot of lake traffic coming by on SR 53. There have been plenty of times they’ve stopped by on a Sunday and we’ve missed out on some business,” Sauber said.

“It will be a benefit not just for New Year’s Eve, but the summer time as well,” he added. “We want to be full service and we want to build a nice environment.”

Smokey’s owner Marquita Smith said besides the holiday, she’s considered applying for the license before.

“It keeps business local. If people can’t get it here, they’ll go to Tiffin or elsewhere,” Smith said. “We really want to keep business in town and keep it local.”

She also said she serves breakfast on the weekends and have had requests for Bloody Marys, but have been unable to provide the beverage on Sundays.

Applications for D6 liquor licenses have increased in recent years, and with the number of permit holders expanding by 11.1 percent in the past five years.

According to Public Information Officer Lindsey LeBerth of Ohio Department of Commerce, the amount of D6 permit holders went from 10,812 in 2012 to 12,014 in 2017. During this time, there was an average of 240 additional permits per year, LeBerth said.

There are other reasons for wanting the licenses as well.

Sauced owner Alex Love said while they already have a liquor license in place, they’ve added a 300-person patio that was open July to Labor Day of this year.

“We want to have it open for Sundays,” he said.

He said the restaurant would like to extend the availability of the patio to Thursday through Sunday and have it open until late October, weather permitting.

“We close at 9 p.m. on Sundays, so it’s more that we want to offer it for the patio,” Love said. “There’s a lot of people that want to watch golf or football on the patio.”

Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee Mike Mastro said he wants the license to make the restaurant a good “community support” business.

“We like to support various causes and do different things to help the community,” Mastro said. “This will let us do even more of that.”

By getting more profitability Sundays, he said it will help the bottom line which will ultimately allow them to do even more for the community.

“It just makes sense because it will give us the profitability to do more for the community,” he said. “This will help us help others.”