I'm told the denial of an appeal for Arlington Liquors for the 2013-14 term and the license renewal denial for the 2014-15 term means the license is now defunct.
That reduces the city's number of liquor establishments to 32, according to the City Clerk's office. (The number may be even lower, as one license was listed twice on the June 16 agenda.)
The number had been as high as 38 at one time, exceeding a state formula for numbers of liquor establishments by population. Those which preceded passage of the formula were "grandfathered" and allowed to remain in business.
Arlington Liquors was regarded by many as the bane of the neighborhood when it was on Randolph Road near Arlington Avenue and continued to have problems after it relocated at city expense to West Front Street near Clinton Avenue. Police reported 80 violations even after owner Vadrajan Naicken was ordered to take special measures, including security cameras and guards, to deter crime.
Council members have long complained about problems associated with certain liquor establishments. Most recently, Councilman William Reid has been outspoken about the effect of some on neighborhoods. Issues have included sales to underage persons, public intoxication, loitering, public urination, littering, fights, drug activity and attacks on intoxicated individuals in the vicinity of bars or liquor stores. When the number of social club licenses dropped from five to four, the council decided not to grant any new ones.
At the same time, the city has many responsible license holders who do business without any problems.
City license fees are currently $2,500 annually, except $188 for social clubs. All are subject to stringent state regulations as noted in Chapter 4 of the Municipal Code and the ABC Handbook.