LDS Church Involved in Liquor License DABC Decision
Two businesses, one in Saint George and one in Logan, are applying for a permit to serve alcohol. Both have been told by state governing authorities that officials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must provide written approval before the licenses can be issued.
Owners of two eating establishments, La Frontera - a Mexican food franchise in St. George, and Even Stevens - a Utah sandwich shop that recently opened in Logan, applied for liquor licenses. But both were denied by the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, even though Even Steven’s was given its stamp of approval by the city of Logan three weeks ago.
As it turns out, Even Stevens is located right across the street from the Logan LDS Tabernacle, which is in violation of Utah's law.
Vickie Ashby, the public information officer with the DABC. She said if an applicant for an alcohol or liquor license is within 600 feet of a community location - which can be any churches, libraries, parks, schools or any community places - business owners need to have written consent from the governing authority before the license can be approved.
“So if it’s a city park, it would come from the city or if it’s a church it would come from the LDS Church,” she said.
Until recently, the LDS Church wasn’t vocal about the sandwich shop’s liquor license request. But church officials informed the DABC that the LDS church’s silence isn’t tacit approval. Or in other words, just because church representatives haven’t explicitly spoken out against the liquor license requests, it shouldn’t be assumed by the DABC that the LDS Church approves of the request.
If La Frontera and Even Stevens don’t get approval, officials then have to prove that there is an unmet need for an establishment in the area that is allowed to serve alcohol.
Ashby said the restaurants could get approval at the next month’s DABC meeting if they get the required signatures or they fulfill a need.