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UPDATE: New Restaurant Wants 'Trex' Liquor License

Owners of 'Pay it Forward' plan business at 154 N. DePeyster St.

UPDATE (12:26 p.m.) — This issue has been delayed until council's November committee meeting.

Some new guidelines about liquor license transfers approved by Kent City Council just last month are about to get tested.

Two women will ask council for approval of what's known as a "Trex" liquor license transfer, which is a state-approved process that allows a liquor licensed to be transferred into one community from another provided local leaders sign off on the transfer.

In Ohio, the number of liquor permits allowed per community is limited based on its population. In Kent, all of the available liquor licenses are owned or in use.

Kent resident Molly Taggart and her business partner Jessica Rutherford have proposed transferring a liquor license into Kent to run "Pay it Forward," a restaurant they hope to open at 154 N. DePeyster St., according to a memo from the city manager's office to Kent council.

Council approved somewhat strict guidelines in September that must be met in order to garner council's approval for a trex transfer. Among the requirements are an investment of $750,000 in the facility, which must have at least 4,000 square feet of dining space.

The guidelines approved by council last month also allow for case-by-case review.

Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said the womens' proposal falls short of the square footage requirements.

"As a result, they are requesting to be considered on the merits of their project," Smith wrote in a memo to the city manager.

In an August letter to Smith, the two women laid out their business proposal, which includes a private-label soda line and plans to employ 45 people. Their total investment budget is $750,000 including the $240,000 purchase price for the property, according to the letter.

The letter states the women are asking for endorsement of the liquor license transfer so the new restaurant can compete on a level playing field with Kent's other restaurants.

"Getting the Trex application endorsed by the city of Kent is vital for our business plan to be successful," the letter, which is signed by both Taggart and Rutherford, states.

The now vacant building served as Vineyard Community Church until it closed in January 2011.

Chris (Kit) Myers October 03, 2012 at 10:56 AM
I think the $$$ and square footage requirements to TREX a liquor license into Kent is elitism at its finest. Does it not discriminate against those of lesser means? What if someone wanted to open a nice little tavern in say, the south end, and could do it for far less? What, really, do size and investment $$$ have to do with the quality of the business? Very discriminatory. Very elitist. Very shameful.
Jason October 03, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Perhaps they should dress up real pretty and bake some cookies for the council meeting tonight? "Two women will ask council tonight..., the women's proposal falls short..., the two women laid out their business proposal..., the women are asking for..." These aren't suffragists, they are business owners, and even as a guy, I picked up a sexist vibe from this writer of this article.
Laurel Myers Hurst October 03, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Hmmm...you are assuming sexist motivation in the use of the term "women" in this article. Rather than assuming sexism as the motivation, isn't it equally valid to assume the author is motivated to conveying the rarity of business entrepreneurship among women? If entrepreneurship among women were not rare and exceptional, there would be no targeted, public funding for businesses developed and run by women. I'm a gal, and I picked up on that.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! October 03, 2012 at 01:08 PM
I couldn't agree with you more, Laurel! And Jason, telling them to dress up real pretty and bake some cookies is the most sexist thing on this page. Women everywhere will cringe when reading your silly statement. Thanks.
Matt Fredmonsky October 03, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I've heard this issue has been delayed. I'm checking into it. Stay tuned for updates.
Mick Mummy October 03, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Can we get some of the crappier bars shut down first? cough cough, gyro
Donald S October 03, 2012 at 06:09 PM
You're right Matt, let's shut down a successful business in Kent. Let's just take out all of the bars because they're all "crappy". Then we can take out all of the other places we find to be crappy.
Clark"KENT" October 03, 2012 at 07:35 PM
They are trying to do something good and working damn hard at it...Give me and those young women a break:)
Andrew Polcyn October 03, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Gyro...crap bar? No.
Myron Holley October 04, 2012 at 08:12 AM
who cares; if they wnat to invest and open a bar let it be. We close enough business with needless rules. If its a poor food place will go under. If good; will make it. Let the public deside.
Randy McFarland October 04, 2012 at 09:00 PM
@ Chris Myers & Donald S, I couldnt agree more. WTH is wrong with the gyro? Never any trouble there, good food 2hrs longer than almost any other Kent bar/restaurant. I wish these two lady's the best of luck!
Chris (Kit) Myers October 04, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I, too, wish them the best of luck. These requirements are just more Kent hoops for people to jump through. I certainly hope they don't want a sigh that lights up at night. That would be a terrible thing!
robert October 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I too wish these entrepreneurs the best !!! And Matt we certainly would not want to shut down any successful ,crappy bars would we ??They have been operating on Franklin Ave for over 70 years !!

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