Sweetness 7 awaits liquor license renewal

Jonny Moran and Ryan Beiter, Executive Editor, Reporter

If you have gone to Sweetness 7 Café, 220 Grant St., recently in hopes of grabbing a beer while relaxing in the upbeat atmosphere, you were most likely told to visit the other location on Parkside Avenue.

Sweetness 7 has not been able to serve alcohol since early March, and owner Prish Moran said it is because of a legal matter.

Moran said her lawyers have advised her to incorporate her café separately from the rest of her building, which consists of storefronts and a performance space. The move has delayed the renewal of her liquor license, which she’s had for two years.

Moran owns all the buildings on her block, which she bought for renovation in 2007 for $112,000. Besides the Sweetness 7 building, Moran owns five storefronts on the block, seven apartments and a church that she says she’s building into a performance space.

Moran’s attorneys originally advised her against spending the money to get her café incorporated separately from the rest of the building space.

“They’ve been under the same corporation for eight years, and no one ever thought my café would work,” Moran said. “But it’s worked quite well.”

Moran said she was unaware of the complications of legally separating the café from the rest of her building. Moran said that while Liquor Authority has taken longer than expected to pass her application, she expects to be able to serve alcohol again within the next few weeks.

“It takes a long time to get a liquor license,” Moran said. “It’s kind of silly, but the law is the law so I didn’t mess around and stopped serving liquor until the transition happens. It’s like applying for a new license, so the timing was just a bit off. Nothing’s changed with the corporation, but with the way the law’s written, I have to apply as a brand new applicant. “

The Flying Bison Brewing Co. and Community Beer Works stickers on the windows of Sweetness 7 are indicative of Moran’s passion for seeing local business thrive.

“We sell only local draft beer,” Moran said. “We sell a lot of it.”

She said craft beer has been popular with college students, who would often come in and drink a few while working on schoolwork.

Moran estimates that a quarter of Sweetness 7’s business comes from alcohol sales, but she won’t know for sure until the end of tax season. Still, she said, business hasn’t changed that much in the weeks since alcohol’s absence.

Joel Standard, a cook at Sweetness 7, said the café is not typically sought out as a drinking location, but customers appreciate the option.

“This isn’t a place where people typically come to drink, but sometimes a customer may want a mimosa or bloody mary with their meal, or a shot of whiskey in their coffee,” he said.

Caffé Aroma, 957 Elmwood Ave., is another local coffee shop that serves beer, wine and liquor. Its alcohol sales closely resemble Sweetness 7’s, with a majority of its sales being in craft beer and whiskey for coffee, according to barista Jon Bonini.

While she has been able to serve alcohol at her other café, Moran said there will be a slight change coming that will add to its selection.

“My Parkside location currently has a beer and wine license, but will have a full liquor license before summer,” Moran said.

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This story was originally featured on Bengal News West.