I have been wondering about this for awhile, and glad to see Snevelicious did a story about it;

“Really, if it’s just a change of address, not a change of ownership, they’re just playing a game,” said Greg Jamison, a state Representative from Sioux Falls who also spent eight years on the Sioux Falls City Council.

This happens quite often. Just recently a national franchise sports bar parked their license at Casino so they can complete their building. Or my favorite, a liquor license jumped from a 2nd floor insurance office to an ice cream shop and now to a vacant space.

I hope Joe does some more investigating on this. It’s time to get rid of liquor licenses as assets. Someday I hope to sell my driver license for $400K 🙂

I have often said many of these problems could be fixed if we would just make our liquor licenses similiar to malt beverage licenses and charge a yearly rate like many other states do;

The city of Sioux Falls has been waiting for more than a year to be paid $310,000 for two coveted liquor licenses, but no city ordinance exists to force business owners to pay up in a timely manner – something city officials say they want to review.

I also find it ironic that two businesses can sit on a license this long without them being revoked, while the city spends thousands of dollars chasing down a private citizen for having a piece of cement they don’t like. Where is the justice? I think it is pretty simple, if you don’t pay for the license, fucking yank it and give it to someone who is willing to pay for it. This ain’t rocket science, just simple accounting.

So restaurants make half the profit bars do on their liquor licenses but they have to pay twice as much – yeah that makes a lot of sense;

Restaurants in Sioux Falls that want to serve liquor will have to fork over a lot more money to get a license. 

The city council raised the licensing fee to $260-thousand dollars Monday night, that’s twice the amount bars pay. The ordinance also limits liquor sales… a restaurant can’t make more than 40% of its profits from alcohol.

As councilor Costello points out the licenses should be a yearly fee like they are in Nebraska so you are not stuck with an expensive piece of paper when you go outta business. (of course, the Gargoyle Leader editorial board thinks it is a great idea) The pricetag is also a barrier. It is pretty obvious that a smaller locally owned restaurant cannot afford such a pricetag only allowing crappy franchise restaurants to buy up the licenses or gigantic grocery store chains. This of course is a competition killer. I have often said the best food in town is served in locally owned restaurants (Minervas, Sushi Masa, Touch of Europe) but only one of them has a liquor license.

Rumor has it that the law is still flawed anyway, it also includes liquor stores, so when the last time the licenses came up for sale, rumor has it, a regional grocery chain bought them all up so they could squash out local liquor store competition.

 Just another dumb law on South Dakota’s books that leaves the little guy out in the cold.