Savannah City Council Denies Applicant’s Alcohol License For A Second Time

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – In a heated Savannah City Council meeting, council members went back and forth, trying to decide if a restaurant lounge should be given a license to sell alcohol.

This was the owners of CRU Lounge’s second time appearing for the council with the same request. The first time was also contentious.

CRU Lounge would be located in Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Byran’s district and she says people living in the area say they don’t want the lounge selling alcohol in their community.

Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter felt like the business owners haven’t been treated fairly considering this is their second time asking for an alcohol license although they meet the requirements.

The council voted to deny the request by Brittany O’Neal in a 5-4 vote. That’s after they tabled the vote on the liquor license in July of last year.

O’Neal was asked to reapply and today they said they checked all the boxes they had to be eligible for the license. O’Neal said they spent roughly $330,000 so far on several things like fees in order to get CRU Lounge up and running.

Alderwoman at large Kesha Gibson-Carter claimed the applicants had so many hurdles to jump through because they’re a Black owned business.

Mayor Van Johnson cut Gibson-Carter and Wilder-Bryan off saying their comments were inappropriate.

“We have never, since I’ve been sitting at this post, I have never witnessed, an individual or business be held to as high of a standard as these individuals have been. Additionally, they have done above and beyond what is required,” said Alderwoman Gibson-Carter.

“The residents of the third district, they were in opposition, I’ve been working in this community for the last 3 years, and I was not going to say anything, but to say that I’m against black businesses, when the alderwoman at large has denied at least three black businesses…,” said Alderwoman Wilder-Bryan.

The applicants did not want to speak on camera. Their lawyer said they own several other CRU lounges in Atlanta and are disappointed in tonight’s vote.

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