Will Royal Oak Taco Bell Serve Booze? Decision Postponed Until April

Will Royal Oak Taco Bell Serve Booze? Decision Postponed Until April

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 13, 2018)

Royal Oak, MI- Commissioners in Royal Oak have not yet voted on whether or not to approve the plan of operation which would include alcohol sales at the recently opened Taco Bell Cantina at 420 S. Main Street.  A public hearing on the matter remains officially open until the April 23, 2018 City Commission meeting because an attorney for proprietor was unable to attend.

Royal Oak Police have requested that the City not approve the plan which would allow the liquor license to be transferred to the business. Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue gave several reasons at the beginning of Monday night’s public hearing, including the number of liquor licenses in the Central Business District, and the fact that Taco Bell “appeals to a younger crowd” that brings a “much higher strain on police resources.

There are currently 45 licenses in the Central Business District.

He also noted that the owner has never had a business serving alcohol before.  The owner has interest in 30 Subway locations and 24 Taco Bells.  “With owning so many, it’s extremely unlikely he’ll be actively involved in the day to day operation of this business,” O’Donohue said.

If Taco Bell Cantina gets the go-ahead from the City and the State, they would have hours of 7am to 11pm Sunday through Wednesday and 7am to 4am Thursday through Saturday.  An estimated 95% of profits would come from food sales and 5% from alcohol sales. And the alcohol would be limited to no more that three beer options, three wine or sangria options, and three options for Twisted Freezes.

The Cantina would have seating for 30 patrons inside as well as sidewalk cafe seating.

Neither proprietor Louis Dortch or his legal representative were at Monday’s meeting.

One resident suggested that the owners should have been more cautious in publicizing the opening as the first Taco Bell in Michigan to be able to serve alcohol before getting the approval to do so, stating that it “makes it look like the City is taking something away” that it had not yet permitted.

The hearing will continue on April 23 at 5:30PM at Royal Oak City Hall.


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