ELYRIA — Shopway Food Mart may be closed, but city officials want to make sure if it ever does reopen it will have to operate without the benefit of a state-issued liquor license.
On Monday, members of City Council’s Community Development Committee unanimously voted to object to the annual renewal of the establishment’s license to sell beer and wine for a carryout. Each year, the city has the chance to object to the renewal of any liquor license, and so far for 2013, Shopway is the only business city officials believe should be stripped of such a privilege.
“After all that has happened, this is the one liquor license I think we should object to,” said city Law Director Scott Serazin.
Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Miraldi issued a temporary restraining order that shuttered the store May 20 amid talk it was a haven for drug activity and a place where people could go to illegally use federal food program cards. A day after the ruling, police went to the store to deliver the news and stood by as city workers boarded up windows and doors.
It is not known at this time if Miraldi will issue a permanent order, effectively ending any Shopway return. But Serazin said the city has submitted motions asking for such a judgment in the case but have not heard anything as of Monday.
Objecting to the store’s liquor permit is a separate matter that will be handled through the state’s Division of Liquor Control. If the owners of the permit wish to have a hearing before the state agency issues its decision, Serazin said it likely will happen in Elyria and his office will be able to explain to a hearing officer why the license should not be renewed.
In other news
Committee members voted not to request a hearing in a separate liquor permit request to pave the way for a state liquor agency to be added to the Giant Eagle grocery store near Midway Mall.
“It will be a state store inside the grocery store as far as I know,” said Councilman Tom Callahan, D-at large, head of the Community Development Committee.
The matter came to the Community Development Committee as a normal course of action. There was information available during the meeting as to when the store would open. A representative from Riser Foods Co., the company requesting the liquor agency contract, did not attend the meeting.