Leaders in York say revitalizing the city could be as easy as proposing a cheaper liquor license. They shared their thoughts in front of the Pennsylvania Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday at York College.
Mudhook Brewing Company serves beer and food to hook smiling customers. But owner Jeff Lau says his brewery is limited to a yearly $2,000 brew pub license because it’s too expensive to pay for a liquor license.
Lau says, “They sell for about $180,000-$200,000 a piece, and it’s a tremendous amount of money. Then you have to buy the liquor and stock a bar.”
So Lau agrees with a city proposal that could save and restore York’s urban center by bringing in more business.
“I think the more the merrier,” says Lau.
York city leaders say it’s difficult to create a restaurant district in York with a population of less than 44,000 people. So an idea is to allow the Liquor Control Board to issue licenses at $50,000.
PA Representative Kevin Schreiber says, “This is a great incentive for small businesses, great tool to allow a mom and pop or young entrepreneurs that would be opening a wine bar to access a liquor license at a much reduced cost.”
A cost that could bring an increase in sales at breweries like Mudhook.
Currently there is a provision which falls under the $50,000 license. It’s called the 70-30 Food to Alcohol ratio. Restaurants could only pay for the cheaper license if they follow the ratio. So city and state leaders are working on eliminating the ratio.