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1849 prepares for business shift

John Orona
Staff Writer

No decision was made Tuesday by 1849 Brewery Co. manager Kevin Krikorian whether to accept a 45-day alcohol sales suspension offered by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The offer would replace a hearing in which the business could lose its alcohol license if it contests the accusations that is operates a disorderly premises. Krikorian had said he needed to make his decision by Tuesday.

The accusation filed by the regulating agency claims numerous police service calls to the location for public drunkenness, fights, assaults, reports of illegal drugs, public urination, and noise violations warrant the suspension.

“It’s going to be huge, it’s definitely make-or-break,” Krikorian said of the decision’s effect on his business. “It could eliminate us. Probably not, but we’re having to pinch every penny we can, try to defer some payments, that’s where we’re at right now.”

Krikorian said while he mulls the decision the brewery will contemplate how to transform the business into something viable after already being hard hit by COVID-19 regulations.

“We’re going to spend a couple weeks, maybe try to change direction, maybe come up with a breakfast menu,” he said. “We’re toying with a few different options for retooling our business.”

At a Grass Valley Planning Commission meeting this month, 1849 was denied a permit to extend its hours to 2 a.m. daily following contentions that the business has been a public nuisance over the last year. At the meeting, Grass Valley police officials said they’ve been called to the location more than 60 times since January.

Instead, the commission allowed the company to extend its morning hours to open at 6 a.m. However, Krikorian said he will now have to evaluate the financial feasibility of the breakfast plans if it’s not allowed to sell alcohol for a month and a half.

“We went from a late night lunch and dinner place to now a breakfast and lunch place, literally forcing us to change our entire business plan,” he said. “Without alcohol right now, it might not be feasible to stay open for the 45 days.”

At the commission meeting, officials scheduled a February hearing in which 1849 can either reapply for extended evening hours or may face the revocation of its use permit if the frequent calls continue.

If the business contests the accusations, a hearing in front of an administrative law judge will be scheduled within 60 days with a proposed decision following within 30 days.

“There has not been a final determination on a penalty since the matter is still in ABC’s disciplinary process, so currently the license is active,” said John Carr, with the ABC. “The premises can still serve alcohol until the disciplinary process has concluded. Any business accused by ABC has the right to due process.”

“It’s a huge penalty,” Krikorian said. “We gotta definitely change directions and do it fast.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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