Michigan Liquor Control Commission

OPINIONS — January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Michigan a dysfunctional State of being by CLIFF & NANCY HILL What follows is another example of how Michigan—in spite of rhetoric from the governor’s office and the state legislature to reform the state—is still finding ways to not deliver services more efficiently and in a timely manner. In 2008, the Michigan state legislature created a new type of on-premises liquor licenses, namely Redevelopment Project Area and Development District or Area Liquor Licenses. Rockford’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is one such qualified district or area. The legislation stipulates the availability of one new liquor license within the redevelopment project area for every $200,000 of public and private investment in real and personal property over a preceding five-year period. Rockford’s DDA has met and exceeded that financial hurdle—in spades—qualifying for a goodly number of the new class of liquor licenses. This is all well and good. It was hoped that the new licenses would enhance the quality of life for a city’s residents along with visitors to their community. More importantly, it is felt by many that the new licenses would stimulate economic growth, create jobs and encourage the opening of new businesses. Now here’s the rub. In the spring of 2009, the owner of the newly rebuilt and vacant downtown Rockford storefront at 123 E. Courtland Street secured a tenant, the Mexican cuisine restaurant Cinco de Mayo. Acquiring one of the new liquor licenses was critical to the venture’s future financial success. Achieving unanimous Rockford City Council approval for license application to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC), the principals moved forward and initiated the application process on June 3, 2009. At the same time, they commenced with the extremely expensive build-out of the restaurant’s interior. They were aiming for a Harvest Festival 2009 grand opening date and hopeful their new liquor license would be in hand at the same time. Were they ever wrong. Still without a liquor license on October 5, 2009, Cinco de Mayo opened their doors for business, promising in advertisements in the local newspapers a “full bar coming soon.” To this day, almost eight months after they initially made application to the MLCC, Cinco de Mayo has yet to receive their liquor license and no one at the state level […]