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Downtown Restaurant Loses Liquor License to New Hotel

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

The increasing number of hotels in Downtown Boise over the past few years has been nicknamed the “Room Boom” and will bring thousands of travelers into the city. It’s no surprise that everyone wants a piece of that pie and to make as much money as possible!

That includes people who own one the State of Idaho’s lucrative liquor licenses.  I didn’t realize how hard it was for businesses to get one until I was talking to a friend who considered trying to get one for her coffee shop.  She went on to tell me that there’s a long waiting list because the state has a set number of licenses available on based on population.  According to Idaho Statesman, that number is actually 1 liquor license per 1,500 people in Idaho.  Population is re-examined every July to see if there’s a reason to create new licenses. That waiting list my friend told me about is sitting 55 businesses deep right now.

Those on the waiting list can save some serious cash if their number is called.  Licenses directly from the state are $800 a month.  A lot of restaurants lease their license from the holder for at least $1,500 a month.

That’s what St. Lawrence Gridiron in Downtown Boise was doing, but at the end of their term with the license holder they were informed that the new Downtown Marriott had purchased the license. (Those go for $160,000 plus on the open market.)

So what’s that mean for the restaurant that was once well known for strong and creative cocktails? Their lead bartender is working on making “temperance” cocktails.  They’re not alcohol free like the temperance cocktails from back in the day, but they are liquor free.  The main ingredients in these are beer and wine.

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