City Commission Looks at Changing Liquor Licensing

Fargo City Commissioners are looking at making some changes to the current liquor license system.
The commission is in the process of creating a task force that will look at simplifying the current liquor license system.
In Fargo, liquor licenses are broken down into classes.

Under the current system applying for a liquor license can cost up to ten thousand dollars depending on the class.

This has a created a secondary market.
“People will transfer these licenses outside basically our control. We end up having to approve that, but if the person their selling it to is a good business man has a good model, and there’s no reason for us to be skeptical then they can go and do that,” said City Commissioner Tony Gehrig.
Under the current liquor license system there is 29 different classes.
The Fargo city commission is looking to reduce the cost to get a liquor license, and the number of different classes.

Stephanie Basol has been a bartender at Empire Tavern for 5 years.
She says the change could have good and bad effects.
“From a bartenders perspective I think it would make things less complicated, but I think from a business owner’s perspective it’s going to make things much more difficult for them,” said said Stephanie Basol Bartender at Empire.
There are currently less than 20 liquor license holders in Fargo. Reducing the cost and classifications would allow the startup of more alcohol serving businesses.
“with all the bars that we do have downtown we have a lot of people drinking and walking, drinking and walking, and when people are exploring downtown Fargo for the first time it sometimes created this muddy aspect of what downtown life is like,” said Stephanie Basol Bartender at Empire.
Commissioner Gehrig says the task force is looking to make both potential and existing license holders happy.
There is no expected timeline of when or if changes will be made.
The liquor license task force will have nine members. Four city officials and four liquor license holders.

A full list of members is expected to be decided at tomorrow night’s city commission meeting

Categories: North Dakota News