The College Park City Council voted Tuesday night to not oppose a liquor license for MilkBoy+ArtHouse, a food and performance venue set to open on Route 1 early next year.
The license must now be approved by the Prince George's County Board of License Commissioners, which administers and enforces alcoholic beverage laws in the state of Maryland. The earliest the license could be discussed is at the board's Oct. 25 hearing date.
The bar and restaurant is a partnership between MilkBoy, a restaurant and live music venue in Philadelphia, and the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. It will replace The Barking Dog, a former bar that closed in 2013, and is expected to open early next year. It plans to offer a cabaret-type space on the first floor and a larger performance space on the second floor, and will aim to host performances or events three to five times a week, The Diamondback reported earlier this month.
MilkBoy+ArtHouse applied for a Class B liquor license, which permits the sale of alcohol in restaurants. The council originally requested that the venue implement a food-to-alcohol-sales ratio, which would require the establishment to sell one food item for every alcohol item sold. This is in place at other restaurants in the city of College Park, according to an Oct. 16 council document sent to the council from Robert Ryan, the city's public services director.
However, MilkBoy+ArtHouse requested at the Oct. 4 council meeting to be exempt from this specification because of its classification as primarily a performance venue.
The council agreed to the exemption and made additional structure-related changes to the property use agreement with MilkBoy+ArtHouse and sent the revised agreement to MilkBoy's representatives on Oct. 7. They received no response.
Linda Carter, the attorney for MilkBoy's partners, was made aware that the council would be voting on the liquor license at Tuesday night's meeting, Ryan said. The council voted to "not oppose" the liquor license for the venue instead of supporting it because representatives didn't address their changes, District 1 Councilwoman Christine Nagle said.
"I think in this case since there are a couple of unknowns I think it wouldn't hurt to just not oppose it," she said.
MilkBoy+ArtHouse had previously agreed to the Prince George's County Board of License Commissioners requirement to invest at least $1 million in structural improvements to qualify for the Class B liquor license.
The board will ultimately be responsible for issuing the liquor license.