Fosterville residents repeal 4 liquor options in precinct
Another Youngstown neighborhood approved sales of liquor at two businesses.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Residents of Youngstown Precinct 5-V, in and around the Glenwood and Sherwood avenues intersection, have voted their neighborhood dry.
Meanwhile, residents of Youngstown Precinct 4-B, which includes portions of South Schenley Avenue and Bears Den Road, approved the sale of liquor at two locations there.
Also, those who want a drink on Sundays at Stambaugh Auditorium will be permitted to do so, because a liquor option for that building passed by six votes.
The only school issue on the ballot -- a 4.2 mill 5-year renewal levy to raise $1.37 million for Poland school district operating costs -- was approved by a more than 3-to-1 margin.
Major victory: Residents of Youngstown Precinct 5-V hailed the repealing of four liquor options in their area as a major victory.
"We have taken our neighborhood back," said Katrina Love, president of the Fosterville neighborhood block watch. "This will help clean up the neighborhood and the problems we've had here."
Bessie Ervin, the block watch's vice president, said there are too many places in their neighborhood for people to buy alcoholic beverages, and this will lessen that number.
"This is a very positive first step for our community," she said. "This is the way we can begin to reclaim our neighborhoods."
The four options ban the sale of all alcoholic beverages in that precinct. Residents said the options were primarily to make sure no one could ever open a bar again at the former Club Mystic location on Glenwood Avenue, where there were numerous problems over the years. The bar has been closed for more than a year.
Only one: The only business in that precinct with a liquor license is J & amp;B Foods at 2606 Glenwood Ave. The business sells beer, wine and individual shots of alcoholic beverages, as well as groceries.
Cyrus Ghassab, J & amp;B's owner, said that he was not surprised by the vote and that politics and money were big factors in the decision. Councilman Michael Rapovy, D-5th, organized the petition drive at the request of Precinct 5-V residents.
"I'm thrilled to death by the vote," Rapovy said.
Ghassab said there have not been any shootings or other problems at his store and he is disappointed that residents targeted his business. He will continue to sell groceries and plans to open a full-service kitchen, he said.
"Now I can sell my liquor license for $20,000," he said.
Although that precinct will be dry, there are still numerous other locations along Glenwood Avenue, surrounding 5-V, where alcoholic beverages can be purchased.
On West Side: Also, Mill Creek Deli, which has sold beer and wine at its South Schenley Avenue location for 13 years, and Bears Den Pizza, next door, will be able to continue to sell alcoholic beverages.
Precinct 4-B, the location of the two businesses, has been dry since 1938. But Mill Creek has been selling beer and wine for the past 13 years with the blessings of the Ohio Liquor Control Board.
It wasn't until the business changed owners last year that the board realized the mistake. The board permitted Mill Creek to continue selling beer and wine as long as a liquor option was put on Tuesday's ballot and passed. The pizza restaurant also will be able to sell alcoholic beverages.