Wine Bar Liquor License Delayed

Kent council votes to re-examine trex liquor license transfer

Kent City Council voted Wednesday to reverse a decision made in committee earlier this month for a liquor license transfer request from a new wine bar.

Council voted against granting a variance to the investors behind Twisted Root Cellars who are looking to transfer a liquor license from another community into Kent in order to open a wine bar at 181 E. Main St. inside the Kent Stage building.

Council had voted April 3 in a committee meeting to grant the variance to the three men looking to open the small wine bar — after a lengthy discussion. That approval also came with a condition that any future sale of the liquor license needed council's approval.

“I think there’s so much that has to be clarified between the last presentation we had and what’s currently going on," Councilman Roger Sidoti said. "Let’s take another strong look at this."

Instead, council voted to put the issue back into a future committee meeting for further review.

The bar had to obtain a variance from council because the city established strict requirements in 2012 that a business must meet before council will sign off on a trex liquor license transfer.

Twisted Root Cellars falls well short of the dollar investment, square footage and percentage of alcohol sales requirements.

The variance became contentious for council because several of its members also want to re-work those existing trex transfer requirements.

"I think it’s a great business, but I think it needs to come into Kent under different circumstances, not by trex licensing, because it goes against everything we set up the trex license for in the first place," Councilman John Kuhar said.


  • New Wine Bar gets Liquor License Transfer from Council
  • City Expects More Liquor License Transfer Requests
  • Council Considers Changes to TREX Liquor License Requirements
John Bard April 18, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Kent city council seems to trying to find a simple answer to a complex problem. If you want to sip a glass of wine is totally different from guzzling draft beer. Council is trying to put all forms of liquor establishments into one box and is finding it will not fit. Ray's place wouldn't conform to the new rules they have established yet it is seen as the holy grail of bars in Kent. Most of the older established watering holes wouldn't conform to councils new guidelines. Areas of the city other than downtown made need to bring in some development and these standards will only serve to then handcuff those projects. Believe it or not there are areas of Kent, Burbick doesn't have and investment to protect, YET.
Teresa K. April 18, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Kent City Council: On the decision reversal, I appreciate the extra consideration you all put into this decision. When in doubt: don't. Yes, we all want Kent to flourish and be thriving but at what cost?


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