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.
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