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Dining services make progress on Fuzzy’s alcohol licensing in University Union

Dining services make progress on Fuzzy’s alcohol licensing in University Union

Fuzzy's Taco shop located in the Syncidate of the Student Union will be closed or have shortened hours for the summer . Dylan Nadwodny | Courtesy

Dining services make progress on Fuzzy’s alcohol licensing in University Union
May 05
03:16 2016

Lisa Dreher | Staff Writer

@lisa_dreher97

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in the University Union could serve alcoholic beverages beginning fall 2016, dining services department coordinator Suzan Cruz said.

Dining services will soon submit its application for a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission food and beverage license, caterer’s permit, mixed beverage license and beverage cartage permit. The commission should make a decision over the summer before the fall semester, but it is uncertain if it will decide by then, Cruz said.

“I would hate to start something like that in the fall,” Bill McNeace, executive director of dining services, said. “We would need summer to figure it out.”

The first of the application packets was started Feb. 3, a few weeks after the Student Government Association passed legislation approving alcohol sales.

“The first one was a little bit more extensive,” Cruz said. “Once this one was done, the other two were pretty easy.”

The first packet, On-premise Prequalification, asks for the business, location and types of permits or licenses being applied for. These forms required signatures from Denton’s city secretary, county clerk and comptroller of public accounts.

The first step of the application was completed March 21. On that day, the remaining parts of the application were submitted and completed April 22. The final step is for the university to send the application to the TABC for approval before UNT can serve alcohol in the Union.

The commission typically takes 39 days to review the application, according to licensing regional supervisor Loretta Green.

Applicants must also notify the public of their application for any TABC permits and licenses through an advertisement in the local newspaper. A notice was published in the Denton Record-Chronicle before dining services moved to the next packet. McNeace said the tedious process of filling out the application is for the safety of the public.

“The state makes it difficult on purpose,” McNeace said. “They want to make sure they have good stewards of alcohol service. It’s because there’s lots of due diligence.”

Cruz said she does not know what the alternative would be if TABC does not approve of dining services’ application.

Third party vendor Metzler’s Food and Beverage supplies alcohol to the Gateway Center, Union and Apogee Stadium, but neither Fuzzy’s nor UNT dining services’  Verde Catering service are properly licensed.

“This will be a new experience for all of us,” Denton TABC agent Beth Gray said. “Especially in a retail situation like they’re doing with the Fuzzy’s.”

The food and beverage license is needed because Fuzzy’s profits come primarily from serving food, as opposed to a bar that mainly sells alcohol.

A mixed beverage license allows the selling of beer, wine, liquor and mixed drinks at designated licensed locations. McNeace said Fuzzy’s would serve drinks the chain typically has, like beer and margaritas, but specific drinks will not be confirmed until after it is licensed.

The alcohol itself is for both Fuzzy’s and dining services’ Verde Catering, and will be stored in the Union, but it is unknown exactly where. The application includes a beverage cartage and caterer’s permit for Verde Catering to transport the alcohol from the Union to events. The cartage permit is also for Fuzzy’s supplier to deliver its alcohol to the Union for the restaurant to serve, Cruz said.

Dining services officials said they will find a supplier after TABC approves the licenses and permits.

The second part details if the land or building for the sales is owned leased or subleased. The location packet for retailers also asks for estimated annual beverage sales, and according to McNeace, Fuzzy’s would hardly make any money off the alcohol sales.

“The vast majority of our students are not old enough, so I really don’t see much profit there at all,” McNeace said.

A piece of student legislation passed Wednesday “will allocate all profits from Union alcohol sales to alcohol ed, drug prevention and mental health.”

“I think alcohol is available all around,” computer science graduate student Anish Rani said. “I don’t think it’s really necessary.”

Lastly, the business packet discloses individuals holding ownership in the business selling alcohol, like owners, trustees and stockholders.

McNeace said specific disciplinary actions and procedures to ensure only students of legal age are drinking and that they are consuming the limited amount of alcohol will be discussed after the commission licenses Fuzzy’s.

Dining services said staff training will start after TABC grants permission for alcohol sales.

SGA legislation mandates a two-drink limit for Fuzzy’s customers. The bill says alcohol will be served 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and no earlier than noon Friday through Saturday. Sales will end at 11:30 p.m. and people will be able to drink until midnight.

Although Fuzzy’s is on a university campus, there are no exceptional rules and it must follow TABC guidelines like any other establishment. Kinesiology senior Davonte Wade said having the on-campus restaurant serve alcoholic drinks on campus will be convenient.

“For the people that do drink, it’s here on campus,” Wade said. “Especially since Fuzzy’s is open longer than any other food place.”

Students also said they would consume alcohol at Fuzzy’s but only in moderation, and administration should not worry about students excessively drinking.

“I probably wouldn’t want to get turned up in the Union, but I would purchase wine if I were 21,” anthropology sophomore Sarah Stutts said. “I don’t see it being an issue.”

Featured Image: According to dining services department coordinator Suzan Cruz, Fuzzy’s could serve alcoholic beverages beginning fall 2016.  Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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