Wednesday, August 22, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
During a regular meeting on Aug. 21, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted 6-1 to lift a moratorium on Class M liquor licenses, which are given exclusively to video gaming establishments. Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon was the lone dissenting vote. The measure opens up the possibility of more video gaming establishments coming to Maywood.
The vote came around a month after the board voted 3-3 on a similar measure during a July 17 regular meeting. That measure also called for the board to recommend issuing a Class M license to a business owner who wants to open what would be the village’s second gaming bistro.
Trustees Ron Rivers and Melvin Lightford were the two trustees to change their votes. They voted against the motion in July, only to vote in favor of the motion on Tuesday. Trustee Henderson Yarbrough was absent during that July meeting.
The moratorium on the issuance of Class M liquor licenses has been in place since December 2016, when the village board voted to institute the moratorium. That was months after 56 percent of Maywood voters in the November 2016 election voted in favor of banning the licenses in a non-binding referendum.
The board instituted the ban after it had already approved the issuance of a Class M liquor license to Lacey’s Place, a video gaming establishment at 611 W. Roosevelt Rd., in March 2016.
Ramzey Fakhouri, who owns the strip mall at at 608-22 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood, presented to the board back in April his desire to open Lucky Bernie’s — a deli that would also feature beer, wine and video gambling — inside of a former Subway restaurant in the strip mall.
Fakhouri said that at the time that the video gaming concept is essential to the financial feasibility of his proposed restaurant, which he added is critical to his ability to stay afloat amid high property tax payments that have hampered the strip mall’s ability to attract, and keep, tenants. The revenue from gaming, he said, would help offset his expenses.
In July, Maywood’s liquor control commission, which Mayor Perkins chairs, voted 5-0 to recommend that the board drop the moratorium and allow Fakhouri the Class M liquor license essential to opening his deli and gaming bistro. Commissioner Mary “May” Larry was absent during that vote.
The board could decide on whether to grant Fakhouri’s request in the coming weeks. VFP
For more local news, ‘Like’ our Facebook page