Phoenix, AZ

Popular Downtown Bar Stripped of Liquor License

Greyson F

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A popular bar is loosing its liquor licenseAdam Jaime/Unsplash

There’s no denying the extensive list of Mexican bars and restaurants in greater Phoenix. For lovers of the style, it makes it easy to find delicious tacos or a well-made burrito. And while more and more Mexican restaurants are opening up, one particular location is finding itself in hot waters and, because of it, may struggle to stay open.

The Golden Margarita, located right in the middle of popular Roosevelt Row, has lost its right to its liquor license. And for a restaurant with “margarita” in the name, that spells trouble.

Earlier in the week, the Phoenix City Council unanimously voted to deny the Golden Margarita of its liquor permit (as reported originally by Fox 10 Phoenix). So, at least for the time being, the restaurant will not be able to serve any kind of alcoholic beverages, although it can still function as a non-alcoholic and food destination.

The city council decided to take measures into its own hands after it received countless complaints about the restaurant from a number of sources. Employees came forward and told the city council the business was not paying wages on time, often withholding funds for days, if not waiting until the following pay period. There have been countless instances of violence and police involvement, not to mention noise complaints from neighboring establishments and community members. The Phoenix Police Department was represented at the city council meeting, where officers discussed the number of shootings and fights that started due to patrons being allowed to consume too much alcohol.

On top of this, the restaurant did not follow city and state requirements of food to liquor sales, where liquor made up too high of its percentages, which alone is grounds to have the liquor license removed.

The final judgment will come in April. The Golden Margarita’s current liquor license is good until April. At this point in time, the Arizona Department of Liquor and Licenses and Control will step in and deem whether the restaurant will receive a renewal of the license, or if they will be forced to permanently stop all liquor sales. This decision will likely determine the eventual fate of the restaurant, as an establishment that focuses specifically on the sale of alcoholic drinks and, once again, has margarita in its name, may find it difficult to pay the high rental rates of Roosevelt Row.

And with the problems with violence, employee payment problems, in addition to not following state liquor sale percentage requirements, things are not looking golden for the Golden Margarita.

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