WILMINGTON — The Town of Wilmington has repealed a restrictive local law that allowed only lodging enterprises to serve alcohol.
That town law, which said businesses had to have hotel rooms to qualify for a liquor license, had been on the books for a long time, Wilmington Town Supervisor Randy Preston said.
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He said it had been cited as one reason Wilmington never grew as fast as nearby Lake Placid.
“We, as in the town board, have been trying to identify why Wilmington was not able to grow like our neighbors in Lake Placid,” he said.
“The alcohol restriction came up over and over. So the town board passed the change to the law.”
‘HAMPER TO BUSINESS’
In a November 2012 referendum, voters in Wilmington OK’d alcohol sales by full-service restaurants, 178-23. Sale of alcohol at places with limited menus was approved with a vote of 163-43.
Preston said that amounted to significant public support for the change.
“We had felt this was a hamper to business; What restaurant would come in without lodging and open for business without being able to serve liquor?
“We have since had two establishments without boarding obtain a license.
“Both are very classy places.”
Rosalia’s Italian Kitchen and Roanka Attractions’ High Falls Gorge have both secured alcohol licenses from the State Liquor Authority since the law was annulled.
Roanka Attractions President Kathryn Reiss said they started planning for the sale of beer and wine at their River View Cafe soon after the change was made.
“For years, this law kept many local businesses in this tourist town from entering the lucrative bar business,” she said by email.
“Now that the law has been changed, High Falls Gorge has obtained a New York state liquor license allowing the on-premise consumption of beer and wine within its River View Cafe.”