A trustee said most of the businesses seeking permits are established and have a good track record.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Township officials and business owners are increasingly looking to pour a little alcohol in an effort to increase the amount of business at area restaurants, stores and social areas.
Voters will decide in Tuesday's primary election if seven more businesses here will get liquor licenses or be permitted to make changes to liquor permits -- more than have been on the ballot at one time in any recent election.
Boardman is typically considered a dry community, but individual site-specific permits may be issued if approved by residents in that precinct.
There are more than 50 liquor permits in the township's 52 precincts.
Permits for West Glen Eatery on South Avenue, the X-Press Stop Center on Lockwood Boulevard, Tabby's Ribs and Chicken on Boardman-Canfield Road, Cafe Napoli on Boardman-Canfield Road, Four Wheels on South Avenue, The Ice Zone on McClurg Road and what was once the Putt-Putt miniature golf building on South Avenue will be on the ballot.
Tabby's Ribs and Chicken is looking to make changes to a permit and West Glen Eatery is requesting only in-house wine sales.
All with the exception of Four Wheels, X-Press Stop Center and The Ice Zone are restaurants. Trustee Tom Costello said places that sell food have said alcohol sales are a must to compete.
"Those restaurants that do not have on-site permits for alcohol sales have been telling us that they cannot compete," he said. "Many people enjoy a glass of wine with their meal and I don't have a problem with that."
Bob Hawthorne, manager of The Ice Zone, said that while the business is not a food establishment, alcohol sales would be a plus for growth. He said the business is looking to bring in minor league hockey for 16- to 20-year-olds and figure skating in the very near future.
"It would be nice to have this in place before league play begins, but if not, it is not going to hold anything up. The sale of alcohol here would be for special events only, not daily sales," he said.
Owners say the other 16 teams in the hockey league being considered offer in-house beer and wine sales to patrons at games.
Regardless of the purpose of the permit, Costello said, precinct residents should take each request seriously because once a permit is issued, it is no longer in residents hands and it could possibly be sold to someone else.
Costello said the businesses applying for licenses now are, for the most part, established businesses with a good track record here.
Township administrator Curt Seditz said the good thing is that the decision ultimately lies with the voters.
"People obviously see alcohol as another way to bring in customers and make money. If voters want it, they will accept it. If not, then they won't," he said.