UTICA N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — The Irish Cultural Center in Utica closed on Saturday due to losing their temporary liquor license. The pub was only closed that day, the restaurant opened on Monday for business – but was not able to serve alcohol. On Tuesday afternoon, the State Liquor Authority approved a license for the Center’s pub: Five Points Public House.
Why did the pub lose their temporary liquor permit in the first place? According to the New York State Liquor Authority, the issue with the application for Five Points Public House was there were two separate businesses operating out of the same facility — a restaurant and a museum.
Vaughn Lang, a Developer of the Irish Cultural Center in Utica, tells Eyewitness News that there’s some misconceptions. “The word museum was of some concern as a public entity that could be accessed without our supervision,” says Lang.
We reached out to the New York State Liquor Authority for a comment.
“Under the Alcoholic Beverage Control law, a business must have exclusive control over the premises, meaning a liquor license cannot be issued if two separate businesses are operating at the same location. Our Licensing Bureau worked with the applicants to resolve this issue through a management agreement certifying Five Points Public House holds exclusive control over the premises, including the museum space on the second floor. After receiving the management agreement from the applicant this afternoon, we restored their temporary permit allowing them to resume sales,” says William Crowley, a spokesman for the agency.
There are also financial issues with the Center. State Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Joseph Griffo, secured a million dollar grant last year that would help cover some of the costs of the construction of the building. Lang says the Center is still waiting for the funding.
“Following the announcement that the Governor had awarded $2 million to an Irish arts center in Manhattan, Deputy Minority Leader Griffo fought for similar funding for the Irish Cultural Center of the Mohawk Valley. Center officials must complete the required paperwork to receive the grant and address and, ultimately resolve, issues raised relating to the facility’s configuration.” This statement was sent from Griffo’s office.