Wyoming Liquor Licenses Available

January 20, 2004
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WYOMING — The Wyoming City Council voted last night to amend the city’s code to allow five new class C liquor licenses specified for use within the Wyoming Downtown Development Area (DDA), which is now known as Wyoming Town Center.

The three-mile area stretches along 28th Street SW from Division Avenue to one-half mile west of Byron Center Avenue.

The Wyoming Town Center Business Coalition requested the new licenses through the DDA, which, in turn, endorsed and presented the request to the City Council in November. On Dec. 15, the council voted 6-0 to make the licenses available. The final public reading and official amendment of the ordinances last night made the licenses available immediately.

Because the liquor licenses are newly allowed by the city, these can be awarded by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission at no cost to the companies developing the restaurants, except for minor state fees. To be eligible, restaurants must be at least 6,000 square feet and offer seating for a minimum of 200 diners, among other requirements.

City officials believe the licenses will attract new businesses to the shopping and entertainment district, which has seen nearly $18 million in expansions, new construction and renovations in the past two years. Seventeen new businesses also have located in the district during that time.

“It is very exciting to see the city of Wyoming take this major step forward in attracting major upscale restaurants to the area,” said Bruce Matza, Wyoming Town Center Business Coalition chair and COO of Rogers Department Store. “We all know that restaurants draw large numbers of customers who, in turn, draw new businesses. Wyoming Town Center’s portion of 28th Street attracts 40,000 cars every day, and the demographics of the area exceed many restaurants’ requirements. If you look around, it’s obvious that Wyoming Town Center is investing in its future success. We have everything restaurants look for in a location as well as minimal bureaucratic and financial barriers.”

The cost of opening a new restaurant has doubled in the past few years, according to city officials, who are hoping a better infrastructure in Wyoming Town Center and the reduced cost of liquor licenses will mitigate some of that expense.

“Restaurants won’t run into those problems in Wyoming Town Center,” said Gerald Mears, director of planning/community development for the city. “This is an area that has invested for the future and we welcome growth. We’re hoping that the five new liquor licenses — in addition to the ongoing revitalization and pro-development attitude — will attract new restaurants.”           

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