Crab Bagz, a seafood restaurant at 18681 Dixie Highway in Homewood, will soon be able to served mixed drinks after village trustees approved a transition from its current beer-and-wine liquor license to one that allows serving other types of alcohol.
Owner Paris Walker told the board that her restaurant, which opened in June, is doing well, but she has had requests from customers for mixed drinks. She said the expanded liquor license would help her remain competitive.
“We’ve had customers leave because we don’t have mixed drinks options,” she said.
Several trustees expressed reservations about approving the change, but their concerns were not with the types of drinks the new license would authorize but with the possibility of enabling video gaming at the business.
Trustees Anne Colton and Lauren Roman asked whether gaming authorization could be separated from the liquor component of the license. Mayor Rich Hofeld, who also serves as liquor commissioner, said gaming can’t be treated separately.
“I’m not crazy about the gaming, but I want to make sure you have everything you need to be competitive,” Colton said.
Trustee Jay Heiferman said he would not support the request as long as the new license enabled gaming.
“I’m committed to the Southgate area not having more gaming,” he said. “If it’s a package we can’t separate, then I can’t support it. I don’t see that neighborhood shopping center as a good location for further gambling presence.”
Village Attorney Chris Cummings offered clarification on what the new license would enable, and he said it didn’t really change the business’s gaming authorization.
“They could have gaming today,” he said. “What the state says is as long as you have the local license to serve alcohol on the premises, whether it’s mixed drinks or beer and wine,” gaming is allowed.
Walker said she was interested in the possibility of offering gaming but she was not sure it would work in the restaurant’s available space. She said gaming was not her immediate priority.
After hearing Cummings’ clarification, all the trustees except Heiferman voted to approve the new license.