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West Mall 7 Theatres reapplying for malt beverage and wine license

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 10:27 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A Sioux Falls movie theater is renewing its push to get approval to sell beer and wine. West Mall 7 Theatres is applying for a retail malt beverage and wine license.

Theater owner Todd Frager says sales from beer and wine could bring extra revenue to the business, which was forced to close for several months due to the pandemic.

“With all the transition, with all the struggles, that we’re going through in 2020, it’s something that we can offer," Frager said. “It gives us a chance at more revenue, and at this point we’re looking for every bit of possible revenue that we can get.”

This isn’t the first time the theater has made such an attempt. A couple years ago, the theater tried to acquire a license but was denied by the city council.

“There’s only two ways that you can deny an alcohol license, and it’s either by suitable location or a suitable person," Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr said. "For me, at the time, it was really the location that was concerning.”

Since then, the council has approved the same type of license for the historic State Theatre in Downtown Sioux Falls. That vote was passed in May.

“It’s always good to review a past decision, and it’s kind of a fairness thing,” Starr said.

Now, with an application for the license on the docket again, Frager is hoping for a different result.

“Last time we applied I don’t think people in Sioux Falls we’re really ready for it," Frager said. "Being in the industry, we had seen it in a lot of bigger cities and a lot of new theaters, and we thought it would be a nice addition to our business, but I just think it took some time for Sioux Falls to grasp it.”

The item is scheduled to be discussed at Tuesday’s city council meeting, however City Clerk Tom Greco says there will likely be a request made to move it to the October 6 agenda.

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