ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – French restaurant Brasserie La Provence in Nob Hill has been closed for years. Now a group wants to open up a New Mexican restaurant in the empty space, but they’re running into a problem.
“Restaurants can’t sell liquor within 300 feet of a school or a church, and that’s pretty standard around the country,” said Pat Davis, Albuquerque City Councilor
Calvary Church is just down the block from the space.
The state does grant waivers to downtown bars and restaurants to get a liquor license even if they’re within 300 feet of a church, but that exception doesn’t apply to Nob Hill. City Councilor Pat Davis is looking to change that, saying it will be good for Nob Hill businesses.
“What we see downtown is there are unique places like downtown arts and cultural districts, where churches are moving into populated areas, where there are more young people, where there are more centers of activity, and that’s what we’re seeing in Nob Hill too,” said Davis.
Under his proposal, a bar or restaurant would need to get the church’s permission. Davis says, if that church says yes, it would be a win-win for both sides.
“We see a lot of churches now that want to engage young people, that want to be active during the week and not just on Sunday, and the best place to do that is to go where people are,” said Davis.
Davis says this won’t happen anytime soon. He’s drafted an ordinance and plans on holding public meetings with the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association in April to talk about the idea.
Davis says he’ll decide whether to move the idea to city council itself based on the feedback he receives.