Kent City Council will hear a request for a liquor license transfer this week for the second time in as many months.
The developer of Acorn Corner and the owners proposing a new bar, The Secret Cellar, in the restored building's basement will ask council members Wednesday to sign off on a trex liquor license transfer.
Kent has existing regulations for allowing the transfer of liquor licenses via Ohio's "Trex" liquor license transfer process into the city, but The Secret Cellar fails to meet two of the three core regulations. Council has the authority to grant variances to permit trex transfers in cases where businesses fail to meet the requirements.
The proposed new wine and beer bar would feature a speakeasy, 1920s theme with seats for 140, according to a memo from the city manager's office to council.
The bar falls short of the size requirement for a trex transfer, as the city calls for 4,000 square feet of space and the new bar is expected to be about 3,000 square feet.
The city also stipulates that, to allow a trex transfer, alcohol sales can't account for more than 25 percent of total sales. The Secret Cellar projects alcohol and food sales to be split at 48.5 percent with private rental fees accounting for the remainder.
Secret Cellar does meet, and even exceeds, the city's dollar investment requirement of $750,000. Combined investments in the bar space between the building developer, Genghis Properties, the bar owner and other investors is more than $1 million.
The restored Acorn Corner opened to the public last month and includes first-floor anchor tenant Buffalo Wild Wings.
The liquor license request comes as council debates whether or not to change its trex regulations and as other bars look to move into Kent.
Earlier this month, council voted to approve a trex transfer for a new wine bar in the Kent Stage building but later reversed that decision.
- Wine Bar Liquor License Delayed
- City Expects More Liquor License Transfer Requests
- Council Considers Changes to TREX Liquor License Requirements