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City halts beer-license bids

Syracuse suspends requests in wake of referendum petition

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A recent referendum petition opposing a Syracuse alcohol ordinance has forced the City Council to suspend requests for beer licenses in the city.

On Tuesday, the council suspended requests from Winger's Grill and Bar and Glen Eagle Golf Course, which applied for licenses after the City Council enacted an ordinance in February that allowed restaurants to serve alcohol for on-site consumption.

Winger's is considering putting a franchise near a movie theater that will be built this year on a 10-acre parcel of land located about 2500 W. Antelope Drive.

Suspending the requests will allow the council time to see what happens with the referendum petition and whether the Davis County Clerk/Auditor's Office will certify 944 of the roughly 1,200 signatures residents gathered to put the alcohol ordinance to a vote, said Councilman Phil Orton.

The clerk/auditor's office has yet to receive the signatures from Syracuse.

If enough signatures are certified, the ordinance will be put on hold until an election, Orton said, adding that he would support having a vote during the June election.

According to state law, the council can decide to have a special election during either of the general elections, which are the fourth Tuesday in June or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Winger's president Eric Slaymaker said he is waiting to find out what will happen. If the city's ordinance is suspended and the restaurant can't get an adequate beer license, Slaymaker said, the company will likely suspend any development near the movie theater.

Slaymaker said it's important to Winger's to sell beer, because the company has found it can be competitive with other restaurants if it sells beer.

"We need the full service of our offerings," he said.

If the signatures aren't certified, Orton said, the license requests will likely come back on the council's docket.

E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com