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In an effort to keep up with the competition, two Homewood establishments will expand their liquor offerings to include distilled spirits.

Village board members Tuesday approved requests from the owners of Twisted Q and Grape & Grain to change their liquor licenses to increase the types of drinks allowed at the two businesses. Both have sold beer and wine; Grape & Grain also sells packaged distilled spirits.

“We just have to keep up with the competition,” said Ron Khalaf, who opened Grape & Grain at 18031 Dixie Highway three years ago. “We thought we could do it with just craft beer and wine. That’s not the case anymore.”


Doug Brown, who opened Twisted Q four years ago at 2053 Ridge Road, echoed the thought. “About 80 percent of our business is carry out, and we’re trying to generate more business in the restaurant,” he said. “This is one of the requests we’ve had.”

Mayor Richard Hofeld asked if Brown planned to change the hours at Twisted Q, which is currently open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Brown said he would stay open until 10 p.m. on weekdays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays as a test to see how much business he will draw. “I have no desire to do a late-night crowd,” he said. “And we’ll only be offering a limited menu.”

Khalaf said before the meeting that an increasing number of customers have tried to order mixed drinks.

“We get a lot of demand for scotch and bourbon,” he said. “And we sell a lot of it to go, so people wonder why, if we can sell them a bottle, we can’t sell them a drink.”

The expanded offerings are part of Grape & Grain’s larger plan to open a restaurant in the adjacent property to the north.

“We won’t be doing that until late spring or early summer, though,” Khalaf said.

Among those interested in seeing food offered at Grape & Grain is Trustee Barbara Dawkins.

 “Can’t we have heavy hors d’oeuvres?” she asked Khalaf at the meeting. “That’s what you need to add.”

Khalaf said he would need “a heavy grease trap” to be able to prepare them. “I’m working now with La Voute on offering charcuterie,” he said of the restaurant, which is connected to the new La Banque Hotel at 2034 Ridge Road.

For Brown, expanding his bar is one of a number of changes planned. “We’ve done four focus group studies and this was one of the requests we had,” he said.

After the meeting, Brown said he’s working closely with his landlord on changes that can boost sales at Twisted Q. For Brown, renting the space means covering $18,000 a year in property taxes, among other expenses.

“You adjust,” he said. “You listen to what people want.”

Both liquor license changes were approved unanimously. Trustees Anne Colton and Lisa Purcell were absent.

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