Monday, Feb. 20, 2023–7:07 p.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
An ordinance amendment creating a “Small Bar” category of liquor pouring license is going back before the Rome City Commission for a second time.
The proposed ordinance which would have eliminated the 50-50 food-to-drink ratio for liquor sales with some restrictions for certain establishments was voted down by the commission in January.
The establishments would have to be small — no more than 1,800 square feet, or 2,200 square feet with outside service. Additionally, they can only serve from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; can’t charge an admission fee; and any entertainment must be preapproved by the Alcohol Control Commission.
On Monday, the ACC voted to recommend approval of the ordinance with one change to address a concern that was brought up the last time it went before the full city commission.
“That is a recommendation that the liquor pouring license fee be reduced somewhat from the fee that is paid by the normal liquor pouring establishment,” said Rome City Clerk Joe Smith. “For an establishment that is smaller in size and closes earlier, the recommendation is a lower base fee.”
Since it was voted down with prejudice, the proposal or an amended version could be brought back to the city commission at any time. It will go onto first reading during the city commission’s Feb. 27 meeting with second reading and a public hearing slated for the first meeting in March. Rome City Commissioner Craig McDaniel told the ACC that it might be a good idea to get the Downtown Development Authority on board in support of the measure, and that may help it get the approval of the city commission.