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Council delays liquor license decision for hearing

A photo of the front of the new Superior Harbor View Super One Foods store shows an entrance to the space that would become Super One Liquors, at right, if the Superior City Council approves Class B liquor and beer licenses for the business. The license will be the subject of a hearing Aug. 11. (Jed Carlson/

A decision on whether a liquor store and bar will open in the Harbor View Super One Foods store on East Second Street in Superior was postponed during last week’s Common Council meeting. Councilors sent the request for a class B beer and Class B liquor license for the proposed Super One Liquor store to the License and Fees Committee for a hearing.

If granted, this would be parent company Miners Inc.’s first liquor establishment, according to store director Patrick Miner. Liquor is sold in the Ashland and Park Falls Super One stores as well as five Michigan Super One stores. Unlike other areas of the state, Superior does not offer a Class A liquor license, which is typically issued to a liquor store and only allows the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises. Instead, Class B liquor and Class B beer licenses allow for alcohol consumption both on and off the premises. In 2007, the council established an ordinance requiring that a business have a bar with at least six seats to be granted a Class B liquor license, according to City Clerk Terri Kalan. The city has a maximum of 77 Class B liquor licenses to issue. Seven remain available.

Although the issue was tabled last week, Pudge’s owner Sara Haugen addressed the council.

“Super One came to us as a business district of East End to help them facilitate, help purchase, all these homes to help build their building,” she said. For 4½ years, they have been holding meetings. At each meeting, she said, owners of the four neighboring bars asked if there was any intent to build a bar and liquor store at the Super One location.

“And at every meeting, including city council meetings, they had said ‘no, it is not our intention,’” Haugen told the council. “Clearly they changed their mind or they were duplicitous in what they were saying.”

There are already four taverns within a three-block radius in that neighborhood, Haugen said after the meeting.

“Do you really need five?” she asked.

Co-locating grocery stores with liquor provides convenience and a desired service mix, Miner said, making them more competitive. He also pointed out that a fifth neighborhood tavern, Old Town, closed its doors within the past year. In a sense, Super One would be replacing that establishment.

“But again, our primary focus is not on the by-the-glass tavern business; that is a happenchance of local regulation, namely the city of Superior liquor ordinance,” Miner said. “Our hope and expectation is that with the significant investment into the East End Superior community, we have created customer growth opportunities for our tavern neighbors.”

The license application indicates Super One Liquor LLC would be located in an approximately 9,400 square feet space in the exterior section of the building near the deli department. The floor plan provided with the application indicates that less than a third of the space would be utilized for the bar portion.

The hearing on the liquor license takes place at 1 p.m. Aug. 11 in Room 201 of the Government Center.

Other business

* Councilors approved a resolution for the issuance and sale of about $6.4 million in general obligation corporate purpose bonds. The city got a very good interest rate, and the city’s bond rating of AA was reaffirmed, said Finance Director Jean Vito. “Some of it is new money for street improvements and a good portion of the debt is for refinancing previously issued wastewater treatment plant and landfill debt,” Vito told the council. “And we’re looking at a savings of close to $300,000 for those last two.”

* Councilors received an update on the progress of a new, nearly 6,300-square-foot animal shelter. The project expected to go out to bid this month should be out for bid Aug. 1, according to Public Works Director Jeff Goetzman. “So it won’t be July, but it will be close,” said Councilor Warren Bender, who requested the update.

* Councilors were introduced to the new rink manager for the Superior Amateur Hockey Association, Chris Stenberg.