JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — In a split vote May 20, the Johns Creek City Council suspended the alcohol license for Bliss Lounge for 14 days, a reduction from the recommended 30-day suspension.
Records show that from August to December 2018, food and nonalcoholic beverage sales made up about 35 percent of Bliss’s total sales, well below the 50 percent mark required by city code.
At their last meeting, council members voted to give Bliss two more weeks to come up with a business plan to raise food sales.
John Putnam, speaking on behalf of Bliss, said the establishment planned to change its advertisements, open earlier, join food delivery services like Uber Eats and add a buffet. Putnam asked the council to grant Bliss leeway for the remainder of its lease to see if the changes increase food sales
“I’m not saying we deserve this,” Putnam said. “We’re really asking for grace.”
Some council members said they could not turn a blind eye to an ordinance violation.
Councilwoman Stephanie Endres initially made a motion to uphold the city manager’s decision to suspend the alcohol license for 30 days. The motion was supported by Councilman John Bradberry.
Council members Lenny Zaprowski, Chris Coughlin and Steve Broadbent said a 30-day suspension was too harsh and would essentially be forcing Bliss out of business.
“Thirty days for this kind of business, they may never come back,” Councilman Jay Lin said.
Lin made a motion to amend the suspension to two weeks. The shortened suspension passed 5-2 with Coughlin and Zaprowski opposed.
In other business at the meeting, the council approved a rezoning petition to build a Discount Tire store in the Hobby Lobby shopping center at State Bridge Road and Medlock Bridge.
The store would be located east of the existing Arby’s restaurant and west of the proposed RaceTrac approved by council in April.
The vote was 4-3 with Zaprowski, Bradberry and Mayor Mike Bodker opposed. Bodker said the proposal was a case of “right product, wrong location” and that the store would hinder the holistic revitalization of the shopping center into a walkable village, as imagined by the comprehensive plan.