Woman gives up on 77 Soul liquor license
WARREN -- The transfer of a controversial liquor license has not worked out for the second time.
Marquita Gary has abandoned her attempts to transfer the license from the now-defunct 77 Soul club to a new bar and grill she is planning to open at 2261 N. Park Ave.
Instead, Gary has requested that the Ohio Division of Liquor Control let her transfer the license from the Sons of Italy club, which used to operate at the North Park Avenue location, Gary's attorney Gilbert W. R. Rucker III said.
"She wasn't aware that there was a license there before," he said. "When she found out, she decided to pursue that option."
Councilmen Alford L. Novak, D-2nd, and Robert L. Dean Jr., D-at-large -- along with several residents and business owners -- expressed concern that Benji Brown's Bar and Grill will increase the crime and noise in the neighborhood.
Novak said he plans to ask the Liquor Control Board for a hearing to appeal the license transfer.
Police were called to 77 Soul, at 4256 Youngstown Road S.E., many times on reports ranging from gunfire and stabbings to parking violations before it was shut down by the city in 2004.
Rucker said Benji Brown's will not be disruptive to the neighborhood but will cater to professionals and feature jazz music.
In 2005, 77 Soul's former owner LaShawn Ziegler attempted to transfer the license to an East Market Street location, but he withdrew his request after city council members objected to the transfer.