An alcohol license applicant plans to try again after being rejected by Savannah City Council

Savannah, J.A.; (WTOC) – Unless an application for a liquor license comes to Savannah City Council from a company located in a superimposed district, or an area that restricts those serving alcoholic beverages, applications are rarely denied.

But on Thursday, concerns emerged about the number of parking spaces the Cru Lounge could provide, as well as the impact of traffic and noise on the surrounding neighborhood.

However, Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely asked City Manager Jay Miller if the business operators met all the requirements needed to apply for an alcohol permit.

“The applicant does not meet the requirements to appear here before the Board for the Board to consider his petition, yes,” said City Manager Jay Melder.

Melder noted that parking and related concerns are taken into account in later steps until the company opens its doors.

“I would say in terms of parking and traffic issues, these issues are brought up during the business location approval process which have not yet occurred for this business.”

But Mayor Johnson stepped in, saying that just because a company meets the criteria for coming to the board to request an alcohol license, it doesn’t guarantee it will be granted.

“I am just concerned that these people trying to open this business, this young African American couple trying to open this business, are held to much higher standards than anyone else who comes before us to open a business,” Alderwoman Alicia Miller said. Blakely.

After a lengthy debate, the council’s vote on whether or not to approve the license went to the council.

“Wow, that’s sad,” Aldruman Miller Blakely commented, with the vote counting six to three, while the majority refused the license.

“Talk about racial equality,” Aldruman Keisha Gibson-Carter added.

“Not at all,” Aldruman Miller Blakely replied. “There’s your racial equality, city manager,” said Gibson Carter.

The applicant, Brittany O’Neill, said she plans to resubmit the new liquor license application to the council at the next city council meeting.

O’Neill said she felt that other applicants did not receive the same level of scrutiny prior to the hearing, and that she felt that her business met all the criteria needed to obtain an alcohol license.

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