December 4, 2008

Beulah approves liquor license for Bronson expansion

Seven of the eight Beulah City Council members present at Monday night’s meeting voted unanimously to approve an off-sale liquor license request from Kelly and Kim Kessler, owners of Bronson’s Super Valu in Beulah. The license will allow the Kesslers to sell off-sale wine, beer and liquor from a roughly 1,400 square foot department in their expanded building now under construction.

The Kesslers told the council that they are expanding several departments with the addition and the license would provide for the sale of what they described as "upscale" products to enhance sales in other departments, such as their deli, meat and seafood products. They said they would also offer events such as wine tastings and the like.

It was noted during the discussion that the Kesslers had talked to Beulah City Auditor Linda Wiedrich and City Planner John Phillips several months ago and both has assured the Kesslers that there would be no problem in getting a license, since the city has no cap on license numbers. The city had at one time tied license numbers to population but abandoned that policy some years ago.

Not everyone agreed with another license for the city and a number of local owners of establishments licensed for both on and off-sale liquor were present to voice their opposition to the granting of another license.

Brad Holtan, an investor in the GrandView/BIGS Steakhouse and lounge, acted as spokesman for the group. Holtan presented numbers from both Mandan and Dickinson by way of comparing licenses to population and noted that Beulah has roughly one license per 425 residents while in those other two cities there are around 800 residents per license, using population numbers of 16,000 for Mandan and Dickinson.

In his brief presentation, Holtan said the purpose of the group being present was to make their request that the council look at the number of licenses now issued by the city, eight counting on and off-sale, and to consider that level of saturation in making their decision.

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