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Liquor Board approves BC Company Store request

In the 1930s, the original Boulder City Company Store included a “club room.” The city was officially dry until the late 1960s, so booze would not have been officially served. Except it was.

“The club room was only for the higher-ups, the people who lived in the brick houses,” said current owner Tara Bertoli. “And only the people allowed in the club room knew what went on in the club room.”

Bertoli is looking to bring back some of that vibe and got a big boost this week when the Business License Liquor Board approved her application for a Class B Cocktail Lounge Liquor License.

The planned room will take the place of an existing event room at the back of the store. Bertoli said it will be dim and cozy with seating for just 20 people. At least initially, it will be open the same hours as the store.

“So 6:30 in the morning until 3:30 or 4 depending on the day of the week,” she said. “The plan is to have beer, wine and cocktails but only on-tap with the only drink mixing being vodka and Irish cream for mixing with coffee and making espresso martinis.”

Boulder City famously has a very limited number of tavern licenses available and so most of the establishments that sell alcohol do so under a license that requires a different primary business. In most cases that is a restaurant.

Almost a year ago, another proposed business called Leafy Latitude that was slated to open in the building that once housed Nevada State Bank on Nevada Way and that has been empty for years.

In that case, the Liquor Board, on the advice of city staff, denied the application. Although the two cases may seem similar, City Attorney and board member Brittany Walker said they were like comparing apples and oranges.

Speaking only as a member of the board and not as a spokesperson for the board, Walker, in an email said, “The hookah lounge and cigar bar proposed by Leafy Latitude was not an established business and the only evidence submitted to the liquor board that the sale of alcohol would not be the principal business was a spreadsheet of estimations showing the sale of alcohol revenue projections being slightly less than the sale of tobacco without any supporting documentation.”

Although the business did eventually get a state license to sell tobacco, they did not have that at the time their license to sell liquor was considered, another factor that Walker said worked against them. “The applicant was told they could resubmit their application with additional supporting documentation, but the applicant never resubmitted,” Walker reported. The status of the proposed business is not currently known. The sign still hangs outside the former bank but is hanging askew and no work appears to have been done.

At the other end of Nevada Way, Bertoli is planning for a September opening of her club room.

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