The long-established Star Drive-In restaurant has gone through all the steps to obtain a liquor license to serve daiquiris at the Monticello Street business. They are now awaiting a visit from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division to make sure all is well with the construction of the indoor seating area needed to serve alcohol.
In Brookhaven, applicants wishing to serve alcohol in an establishment must meet the legal requirements set forth by the Mississippi Code. Established policies require applicants to file certain documents to determine eligibility for licensing as well as the suitability of business premises to offer alcoholic beverages for sale.
The main document is made up of 19 pages: a cover page and three pages of explanations, which leaves 15 pages to fill out. This document is available on the brookhaven-ms.gov website. There are 16 types of permits and applicants must choose one. Choices include package retailers, catering permits, and manufacturer classes I, II, and III.
The applicant must cite a statement of ownership to determine who should file qualifying documents, such as financial statements, fingerprint cards, audit waivers, lease or ownership documents of the relevant business, plan detailed floor plan and menu of said business, newspaper publications and proof of publication, Liquor and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau form and sales tax number form.
Restaurants in particular are subject to additional monitoring. A business must first qualify as a proper restaurant before it even begins to think about getting a liquor license. To do this, a business owner should do the following:
- Provide a menu that contains at least five distinct entries. Food should be prepared at least in part on site and not be considered simply heated and served or “ready to eat” preparation. Specialty or theme restaurants may be exempt if the entry line contains an acceptable number of variations on the theme.
- Obtain and retain proof of license from the Mississippi State Department of Health.
- Employ at least one management employee with training and experience in food management.
- Have a kitchen that contains functional qualifying amenities, such as an oven and stove, cold storage areas, ventilation hood, adequate food preparation areas, mop sink, three-compartment sink, and separate hand washing facilities for employees.
- At least 25% of gross annual sales come from preparation, service and food.
- Meet all other requirements set out in Miss. Ann.Code Section 67-1-5(m)
It is only after all these steps that an on-site visit will take place to ensure that everything is fine with the restaurant.