Wednesday, January 16, 2019

No ID? No problem!

Proposed bill would allow Florida residents to use electronic ID, registration

By Meneida Bailey, WKMG intern

Forgetting your driver's license at home while driving might no longer be an issue for Florida drivers if a proposed bill passes this legislative session.
Florida could be one of the first 14 states to accept electronic identification, according to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report. 
Tampa Rep. James Grant is expected to sponsor a bill that would allow drivers to use electronic credentials, as opposed to hard copies, for ID and registration during traffic stops, as well as for voting and purchasing liquor, according to the Sentinel.
Florida drivers can already present proof of insurance electronically.
Grant co-sponsored a similar bill last year. it died in the Senate during its second reading due to concerns of potential hacking on mobile devices.
The Sun Sentinel reports the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators is developing standard protocols to enable to use of digital licenses.​

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Gainesville bar owner ‘Trader’ Tom Henderson dies

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Tom Henderson was known around Gainesville as “Trader Tom,” a no-nonsense bar owner who went from serving beer and sandwiches to students to hosting high-profile celebrities.
He once told a then-unknown, up-and-coming Gainesville musician named Tom Petty to “turn the music down” at his adult establishment.
Henderson, who died at his home in Satellite Beach on Saturday at 89, owned several well-known bars in the Gainesville area, including Trader’s North, Trader’s South and the Round Bar.
“He was a very good man, very direct in his business,” his youngest son, Joey Henderson, said Wednesday. “He always had a plan, what he wanted to do. It was kind of his way or no way.
“When he went to work and from work, he carried a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun openly, to protect his money bags. That was his character.”
Born in Pensacola, Henderson enrolled at the University of Florida to attend law school in the early 1950s, but soured on the law and instead finished with a degree in psychology. His first bar in Gainesville, Tom Suds, was close to campus and sold beer and sandwiches.
After a short stint owning a bar called The Blue Flame, Henderson opened The Stag Bar on Northwest Fifth Avenue in 1956. His white friends from the UF law school wanted to stop by, but because Gainesville neighborhoods were segregated at the time, they couldn’t because the bar was open only to African-American patrons.
Henderson then opened Trader’s North on Northwest 13th Street in the 1960s, a bar known for its large rope net on the ceiling that covered the whole building. He would trade beer for interesting artifacts to hang on the giant net, hence earning the nickname Trader Tom. Beer was otherwise 25 cents a glass and Henderson had go-go girls dance on a small stage.
“The bar business was in his blood,” Joey Henderson said. “It was always, ‘build a different bar.’ He was a go-getter.”
In 1968, Henderson opened Trader’s South on Southwest 13th Street, a bar that featured live bands playing while topless girls danced on table tops. When the state of Florida refused to grant Henderson a liquor license because of the topless dancers, Henderson sued and won the right to serve liquor.
Petty and Marty Jourard of The Motels were among musicians who played at the adult establishment in the 1960s and 1970s.
“The bands, my dad was harsh on them,” Joey Henderson said. “He didn’t care who they were.”
Robin Williams visited Trader’s South after performing at Gator Growl in 1982, and Joey Henderson said his dad was struck by how short he was. Former NFL defensive lineman and actor Alex Karras also stopped by his establishments over the years.
In 1977, Henderson opened the Green Dolphin, on Northwest 13th Street next to Trader’s North, which served beer and sandwiches. The last bar that Henderson opened in Gainesville was Round Bar on Northwest 39th Avenue and 13th Street, a circular building that featured a spiral staircase leading up to bar seating. Joey Henderson said his dad got the idea for the unique design after visiting the Conch House in St. Augustine.
’He probably should have been an architect and a builder,” Joey Henderson said.
Henderson left Gainesville in 1989, retiring to Satellite Beach. Joey Henderson ran Trader’s South until it closed in 2006, after the expiration of an agreement between the club’s owners and the city that exempted it from rules prohibiting clubs from serving alcohol if they featured nude dancing.
The legal challenges began in 1995, when Gainesville passed laws to prevent nude establishments from serving alcohol. Henderson sued the city in 1996 and Trader’s South and the city reached an agreement in 1998 for a 10-year waiver, retroactive to 1996. In exchange for dropping its suit and donating $500 a year to the Gainesville symphony orchestra, Trader’s South could keep serving alcohol as a nude establishment. 
Joey Henderson recalled his last meeting with then-Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan in 2006, pleading for another extension.
“She was able to support us the first time around but told us she could not support us again,” Joey Henderson said. “I just decided then to stop fighting it.”
In retirement, Joey Henderson said his father enjoyed duck hunting, fishing off the dock of his Satellite Beach home and trips to Costa Rica.
Tom Henderson is survived by his three children, a daughter Maria, son Nick and youngest son Joey, and six grandchildren. Services were held in Satellite Beach.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

R.I.P to a Local Legend

View original article here

Gainesville bar owner 'Trader' Tom Henderson dies

January 2, 2019
The prolonged government shutdown is already dramatically impacting the lives of federal workers and is leaving investors in the dark due to the lack of economic updates. But some impacts are less obvious. Among those: Until the government reopens, there won’t be any new beer or wine releases.
Breweries and wineries require federal approval for their products’ labels. That department is closed these days, though, meaning brewers and vintners who want to roll out something new can’t.
Technically, that won’t be an immediate problem. Labels are typically approved well in advance of a product’s release, so consumers won’t see a dramatic impact anytime soon, but the shutdown is creating a backlog. Additionally, craft brewing startups, which require license approval, are also in limbo.
(The shutdown will have no impact on beers and wines whose labels have already been approved.)
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is the agency in charge of approving labels, licenses, and new ingredients to beer, wine, and spirits. During the shutdown, companies can continue to submit applications, but the site notes “submissions will not be reviewed or approved until appropriations are enacted.”
The government has now been shut down for 12 days as Democrats and Donald Trump face off over funding for the border wall. Trump is demanding $5 billionin funding. Democrats have held tight to $1.6 billion previously negotiated with Republicans in Congress.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Cinemaworld OK’d for alcohol sales

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LINCOLN – Moviegoers at Cinemaworld at the Lincoln Mall will soon be able to purchase a beer with their popcorn after the Town Council passed the movie theater’s application for a liquor license on Tuesday night.
Council members debated whether or not to allow alcohol sales at their October meeting, eventually deciding to defer the conversation to this month’s meeting to gather more information. At the time, Town Council President Keith Macksoud said he wanted to hear from other communities’ police departments on whether or not serving alcohol at the movie theater created problems.
At the request of Town Administrator Joseph Almond, the Lincoln Police Department reached out to leaders in a number of municipalities that have passed proposals to serve liquor, including Burlington, Woburn, Tyngsborough, Haverhill, Newton, Dedham, all in Massachusetts, and two Cinemaworld theaters in Florida. There were no concerns reported by the towns that responded to the survey, according to police.

Burlington reported “no issues,” while Woburn said it has not been a problem for the past five or six years since the theater was granted approval to sell alcoholic beverages. Newton, which has a “Lux Level” theater where patrons are served food and drinks, also reported “no issues or violations.” Both police departments contacted in Florida reported no alcohol violations or “negative contacts with theater and/or their management.”
Cinemaworld Lincoln’s BV(victualers) license application passed with a number of restrictions, including an amendment to limit service to one drink per ID and two IDs per person. The hours of operation would be noon to 11:30 p.m., and patrons must be 21 or older to enter the theater’s bar area.
The bar will be built out of a former party room, according to theater officials, and will have a glass wall so parents can keep an eye on their underage children outside.
With the amendments, the motion to approve Cinemaworld’s application for a BV license passed 4-1, with Councilor Jim Jahnz voting against. Before the motion passed, he asked whether the town would be liable if someone at the theater is over-served. Town Solicitor Anthony DeSisto said liability could potentially attach to the town based on the fact that a police detail is assigned to the theater.
Jahnz also asked about the possibility of limiting drinks to a lux level, but a representative for the theater said that style, which is featured in Dedham and at Patriot Place in Foxboro, Mass., was more of a “prototype,” noting that newer locations in North Attleboro and Warwick do not do that. 
Councilor Arthur Russo commended Capt. Phil Gould for reaching out to multiple municipalities, noting that all of them reported no alcohol-related incidents.
“This is exactly, I think, what the council was looking for,” he said. “…to do our homework before we grant anything. I’m very comfortable with the results.”
Councilor Bruce Ogni described the report as “much more extensive than I expected and alleviated most of my concerns.”
Macksoud voted in support of the application, as long as there is a two-drink limit, that the bar area is off-limits to those under age 21, and that everyone must present an ID.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Target, Walmart file rule challenge for ‘whiskey and Wheaties’

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Target and Walmart are heading to court to get an administrative law judge to give them what Gov. Rick Scott wouldn’t: The ability to sell whiskey and Wheaties in the same store. 
The big-box retailers late Monday filed an administrative challenge against the state’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages And Tobacco (ABT).

At issue: The state’s obscure, 24-year-old “Restaurant Rule,” which restricts eateries and other businesses that have ‘consumption on premises’ liquor licenses from selling anything other than items “customarily sold in a restaurant.” The plaintiffs say the rule is “not supported by logic or necessary facts.”
For over eight decades, Florida law — enacted after Prohibition — has required retailers to sell hard liquor in a separate store, though beer and wine can be sold in grocery aisles.
The current end game is that retailers selling ready-to-eat food, such as Costco, would be able to use consumption on premises licenses normally granted to restaurants to avoid the prohibition on selling booze in the same space as other goods.
(Costco isn’t involved in the current case, but has also been fighting the battle. One of its Florida stores was denied a consumption on premises license earlier this year.)
Bills have been filed since 2014 to remove the wall of separation between hard liquor and other items. Last year, legislation barely passed both chambers only to get vetoed by Scott, who said it’d be a job killer for small businesses, many of whom would likely be overwhelmed by big-box stores’ superior selling power.
Attorneys for the GrayRobinson law firm, which has represented Costco in Florida, filed the petition challenging the Restaurant Rule on behalf of Target and Walmart, each of which “operate(s) numerous locations in the state of Florida that are licensed as restaurants.”
“In effect, the Rule forecloses (them) from obtaining a consumption on premises license,” the petition says.
ABT’s rule defines items “customarily sold in a restaurant” as only “ready to eat appetizer items, ready to eat salad items, ready to eat entrĂ©e items, ready to eat vegetable items, ready to eat fruit items (and) hot or cold beverages.” State law, however, is silent.
In any case, the state “has granted hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for consumption on premises licenses for entities that sell items beyond those identified in the Rule,” the petition says.
“Applications that have been approved include ones for golf country clubs, hotels, casinos, movie theatres, retail stores, sports complexes, bowling alleys, and senior living complexes, among others, all of which, in addition to ready to eat foods and beverages and lottery tickets, sell merchandise like golf clubs, clothing, toiletries, jewelry, fashion accessories, movie tickets, cosmetic products and other items similar to those sold by petitioners.”
Also joining the challenge is the TopGolf “golf entertainment” chain, which has five locations in Florida.
State regulators have “also recently informed TopGolf that its Florida locations, which are licensed for consumption on premises, are prohibited from selling items other than those identified in the Rule, despite the fact that TopGolf has been selling such items since opening each location in Florida,” the petition says.
ABT “was fully aware of such sales at the time it issued the licenses to TopGolf. Yet, the Division has now decided to selectively enforce the Rule against TopGolf and other similar restaurant retailers.”
The case has not yet been assigned to a judge at the Division of Administrative Hearings.
An attorney representing PublixABC Fine Wine & Spirits, and the Florida Independent Spirits Association, all of which oppose tearing down the wall, warned regulators at a rule-making workshop earlier this year. 
“The purpose of rule-making is to interpret statutes, not to get around laws that a party does not like,” said William Hall of the Jones Walker firm. “The (state) should reject this attempt to use rule-making to usurp the legislative process.”
Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

9 Arepas Attains Full Quota License

Our Broward County client, 9 Arepas, has secured their quota license. This license permits the Pembroke Pines establishment to sell beer, wine, and spirits (liquor).

License owners pay an annual license fee. The state does not set the price for a license, itself, on the open market. It is decided by supply and demand. A transfer fee, which is not to exceed $5000, is also enforced.

Contact us for your liquor licensing needs. Whether you need to buy, sell, or seek financing, we have the tools for you to succeed. See a full list of services here.

How much does a 4COP liquor license cost in Florida?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Congratulate The Brass Tap On Miami Opening

We would like to congratulate our client, The Brass Tap, in Miami, Florida. Thank you for allowing us to assist you with your food and beverage licensing needs.

Visit them at 9010 SW 72nd Place, Miami, FL 33156

Contact us to assist you with your liquor licensing needs.