VENTNOR – The city will accept bids for the second of three retail consumption liquor licenses on Friday, Nov. 2.
The Board of Commissioners discussed the sale at its Sept. 13 meeting and agreed the minimum bid amount would be $77,100, the same amount it received from Blake Barabuscio for the first license.
Barabuscio bid $2,100 more than the minimum bid amount of $75,000 for the city’s first retail consumption license offering and plans to open a Santucci’s Original Square Pizza restaurant at the site of Arrow Hardware next spring. He is currently undergoing a police background check before the city can award the license.
Standing on the sidelines waiting to bid on the second license is Brett DeNafo, who recently purchased the old Ventnor Twin movie theater and is in the process of rehabilitating the building to turn it into the Ventnor Square Theater and restaurant.
Additionally, a woman approached the board at the meeting requesting a timeline for bidding.
Ventnor currently has package good licenses, but voters approved a referendum on Nov. 2, 2016 agreeing that liquor should be permitted to be sold by the glass at full-service restaurants. Based on the city population, it is entitled by NJ Liquor Control Board regulations to issue up to three licenses.
Bidders must be qualified to hold a liquor license under the Alcohol Beverage Control Act and the city’s ordinance governing the licenses.
The city will twice advertise an invitation to bid in the local daily newspaper on Monday, Sept. 17 and Sept. 24. Bidding is two-step process, which includes first submitting an Affidavit of Qualification to Municipal Clerk Lisa Hand’s office on or before Wednesday, Oct. 24 for review seven days before an actual bid. The clerk will announce qualified bidders five days before the bids are due.
Formal sealed bids are due to her office no later than 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. The bid package must include the ABC’s 12-page application, a letter setting forth the bid amount, a copy of the signed Affidavit of Qualification and a certified check or money order equaling 10 percent of the bid amount. The balance of the bid amount is due 10 days after bidding.
To be qualified, the applicant must have an ongoing restaurant or a “realistic” plan to open one within 24 months of acquiring a license, according to the city’s ordinance.
Additionally, the candidate must pass a thorough investigation by the Police Department and the ABC board.
Bid packages are available at the Clerk’s Office, Ventnor City Hall, 6201 Atlantic Ave.