In a textbook case of "if you can't beat them join them," Souvenir Super Mart at 322 Fremont St. is seeking permission to open a 2,467-square-foot tavern under the canopy of the Fremont Street Experience. Owners Three Twenty Two LLC were the most litigious and vocal opponents to the new Fremont Street rules covering the sale of packaged liquor that impacts them and other non-casino purveyors of alcohol at the booze-focused Downtown attraction.
The brother and sister operators Aliza Elazar-Higuchi and professional poker player Eli Elezra had railed against the perceived hypocrisy of their new restrictions on selling alcohol, while casinos like the D Las Vegas directly staring at their business operate under less draconian guidelines.
Among the new rules are stipulations to prevent advertising signage in windows, the sale of hard-liquor mini bottles, the sale of malt liquor or beer in containers greater than 32 ounces and beer with alcohol content of 11 percent or more. It also banned the consumption of alcohol by their customers from the original glass, aluminum and plastic cans or bottles. Blocking advertising has been cited as a particularly stinging end to the art of enticing pedestrians looking for a cheap takeaway buzz.
During a July hearing before a federal judge, City Attorney Brad Jerbic explained that business owners like the Souvenir Super Mart were subject to tougher regulation, because "they don't hold tavern licenses like most casinos and bars do." With further new rules halting any new packaged liquor stores being permitted to set up shop on Fremont, this tavern application test case could be eyed as the possible legal loophole Downtown store owners have been waiting for. The first hurdle begins at the Oct. 14 planning commission meeting.
· All Coverage of Downtown [~ELV~]