Oxford expects influx of beer sales

By Kelsey Kimbler - For The Register-Herald

OXFORD – In coming months, Oxford will experience an increase in D-1 beer licenses. New restaurant Rapid Fire Pizza and stadium Millet Hall have been approved for two recently available Oxford D-1 alcohol licenses.

There are four types of liquor licenses in Oxford: D-1, which is for beer only, D-2 which is wine only, D-3 which is liquor only, and D-5, which is a combination license.

There is also a restaurant license (D-5I) which is basically a D-5 combination license and applicable to restaurants meeting certain criteria.

Liquor licenses get divvied up to cities depending upon a census of residents, so Oxford was previously awarded a certain number of licenses to give out to businesses which apply and meet the necessary criteria.

A recent census increased the population number for Oxford, thus increasing the liquor licenses by one of each type.

In addition to these four additional licenses (a D-1, D-2, D-3 and D-5), Stadium Bar in the city closed and subsequently forfeited its licenses.

During a Sept. 20, Oxford City Council meeting there were two notices made regarding the two newly available D-1 licenses.

As reported in previous months, Yager Stadium decided to seek a D-1 permit, but was rejected and received a D-5I license instead. Since that decision, the Stadium Bar permit became available and was offered to Yager.

As the D-5I license has already been put in place, the open D-1 permit will be given to popular sporting hall, Millet.

Millet’s aim is to offer beer at sporting events, but in previous years Miami University had claimed it did not want to involve alcohol with sporting events, in order to “foster the family environment the lack of alcohol has created.”

Times have apparently changed. Director of University News and Communications Claire Wagner referred to a memo from previous University President David Hodge stating that beer sells will be permitted at Yager Stadium. The decision came in the wake of “positive experiences at other MAC schools and a successful pilot of beer sales at hockey games.”

In his memo, former President Hodge noted, “The underlying rationale for providing controlled beer sales at football games is to provide more options for the game day experience. The ASG resolution argues that this would provide an appropriate alternative for students of legal age to the excessive drinking uptown, and, importantly, also model responsible consumption of alcohol.”

He added, the addition would be something alumni would find beneficial to their experience.

He stressed he expected no problems, but “it should be clearly understood this permission may be canceled at any time if this option results in unacceptable consumption of behavior.”

“We are conscious of families enjoying games and are watching how beer sales go this year,” Director Wagner said. “An alcohol-free family zone is possible for next year. So far, Miami University Police and concession staff say sales are going smoothly and fans are behaving well.”

While Yager’s beer sales are going well, the school currently has no plans for Millet, outside of obtaining the license.

Director Wagner added, a campaign for checking IDs, training beer sellers, limiting beer sales to two per person, and law advocacy to students has begun, with the theme “Play it Safe and Smart.”

This slogan has also been used in a social media campaign.

The D1 license at Millet is not the only license to be issued recently. Rapid Fire Pizza Place will be entering the vacant spot left by Orange Leaf. Rapid Fire has requested the D-1 license the census made available, and the plan is for the restaurant to sell pizza and beer. The restaurant also tried for a D-2 wine permit, which is under high demand. Currently, only the available D-1 license was been awarded to Rapid Fire.

Phan-Shin Chinese & Thai Restaurant requested the open D-3 liquor license at an Oct. 4, city council meeting. This will mean the Chinese & Thai Restaurant has all three liquor licenses.

Economic Development Director Alan Kyger noted, he expects many more request for the open licenses in the coming months.

By Kelsey Kimbler

For The Register-Herald