By YUEHAN LIU
Capital News Service
LANSING— Residents and their guests would be able to be purchase alcoholic beverages at homes for senior citizens if a recent proposal becomes law. Currently, Michigan homes for the aged can’t legally sell liquor, because they don’t have the license to do so. To change that situation, Sens. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford; Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing, and Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy introduced legislation to authorize the Liquor Control Commission to issue licenses to allow the facilities to sell and serve alcohol. Knollenberg said he introduced the bill for two reasons.
East Lansing restaurant owner Arturo Santa Cruz was granted the right to sell packaged beer and wine in a unanimous vote during last Tuesday’s city council meeting. Santa Cruz, owner of the restaurant El Azteco, addressed the council Tuesday night, urging them to grant his request for a Specially Designated Merchant, or SDM, license for his East Lansing restaurant. Santa Cruz said: “In asking for this SDM license, I’m not asking to put up another liquor store. I’d really like to just sell beer and wine with the foods that we have, keeping us in tempo with the Lansing restaurant.”
Darcy Schmitt, Planning-Zoning Administrator, addressed the council and explained, “Typically a restaurant that would have an SDM license is using it as an additional accommodation for patrons coming in to get takeout so they are not making two stops to get a beverage.”
During the council meeting, another request to grant similar license to a BP gas station owner was denied due to concerns by the board. Mayor Pro-Tem Diane Goddeeris demonstrated her support for Santa Cruz’s request by discussing his success with his past proposal of adding rooftop seating.