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Cincinnati Will Not Object To Any Liquor License Renewals This Year

bars and restaurants

Ohio officials delayed the process for renewing liquor licenses this year because of COVID-19. 

Cincinnati will not be filing any objections for bars and establishments that have licenses in the city this year.

City attorney Mark Manning said the pandemic is partly why there are no objections.

"With COVID and how it's progressed this year with the bars being closed for a substantial portion of the year and that impacting their operations, we thought it best to delay," Manning said.

There are three bars in the Downtown Cincinnati area that are being monitored, and the city could object to liquor license renewals for those establishments next spring.

Those include:

  • Chalet, 920 Race Street
  • Main Event, 835 Main Street
  • PRVLGD, 301 West Fifth Street

Police report many issues and complaints with those bars. Those include noise, large crowds, fights, drug sales inside the establishments, assaults, guns recovered, and shootings outside the bars. There was a homicide outside Chalet on Thanksgiving night in 2019.
Normally City Council's Law and Public Safety committee holds a hearing in the spring to allow police and residents to list their objections about bars and nightclubs in the city.

The state delayed that process, and the new deadline for the city to file objections is now Nov. 1.

Manning said that means the city could still object to problem bars in early 2021.

"These may in March turn into objections; hopefully they don't," Manning said. "Hopefully the issues associated with these locations get corrected. And there might be other bars or nightclubs that are subject to objection in March."

Law and Public Safety Committee Chairman Christopher Smitherman is asking police and representatives of the three bars being monitored to return to his committee Dec. 9.

He said he's hoping the city and the establishments can come up with "good neighbor agreements." Smitherman said the goal is to remedy the problems, and not object to a liquor license.  If the license is revoked, the bar will be out of business.

The state issues liquor licenses, and the city can only file objections when it comes time to renew those permits.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.