Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Tuscaloosa City Council Approves Liquor License for J.D's

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Tuscaloosa City Council Approves Liquor License for J.D's

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | In a rare reversal, the Tuscaloosa City Council voted Tuesday to grant a liquor license to J.D.'s Food Mart on Paul W. Bryant Drive, one week after rejecting a similar request.

This time, all council members voted in favor of granting the license. On March 13, the vote was 4-1 against granting the license.

Councilman Lee Garrison, who represents the area in which the landmark store for University of Alabama students rests, abstained from voting both times.

"We're very pleased," said Jason Collins, president and co-owner of J.D's Food Mart, which recently reopened after a series of renovations. "We'd like to thank the City Council in being so open- minded and willing to listen to the things that we had to present.

"I know there was a little bit of opposition, but I think we addressed those issues and we're pleased with the outcome."

Collins said he hopes J.D.'s will be able to start offering liquor and spirits within the week, but the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control board first must process the application.

The reconsideration of the vote was brought about with a motion from Councilman Kip Tyner. Tyner last week voted against the license, but said that he's since changed his mind.

Tyner said his decision to reconsider his vote came after speaking directly with Collins and representatives of J.D.'s. Tyner said he was also swayed after learning from Garrison that there was no widespread community support to deny J.D's the opportunity to sell hard liquor.

Additionally, Tyner said he believed it was an improper rejection, considering that the council already has approved the operation of two other liquor stores near J.D.'s.

"I wasn't comfortable with it at the time," Tyner said. "And it bothered me. The more I thought about it, I didn't think it was fair."

After the City Council meeting, Garrison reiterated points that he'd made on March 13, including the lack of unified concerns regarding the license by the Original City Association, the neighborhood association for the area. …

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