Customers at the recently opened China Garden may soon be able to order beer and wine with their orange chicken and chow mein, if the county approves the Isla Vista restaurant’s recently submitted on-site liquor license application.
The restaurant applied for a Type 41 On-site Beer and Wine License from the California Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) on June 15, restaurant manager Jennifer Guan said. If granted the license, China Garden — located at 6530 Pardall Rd. — would be allowed to serve beer and wine to its customers, provided that the alcoholic beverages did not leave the premises. Lt. Sol Linver of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) said he is protesting China Garden’s application on behalf of the IVFP because he thinks there are already too many establishments that serve alcohol in the area.
Linver said Isla Vista already has 16 restaurants that serve alcohol — more than the maximum of 10 licenses in a given community usually enforced by the ABC — and said IVFP officers believe crime rates would increase if another license were granted.
“Our statistics show that with more alcohol comes more crime,” Linver said. “We are going to protest any increase in alcohol licenses in Isla Vista; we have already protested against the [I.V.] Deli Mart’s application. We feel there is too much alcohol in the area.”
ABC District Administrator Chris Albrecht said his department often considers the demographics and special needs within a community before setting a limit on the number of liquor licenses that may be granted. He said Isla Vista is an exception to the usual 10-license limit.
“We usually limit [the amount of licenses] unless there is a public necessity for them or they would provide a public convenience,” Albrecht said. “We have a license investigator inspect the nearby residences… the concentration levels [of the population] and the size of the place of operation. There are also consideration points such as proximity to hospitals, churches and schools.”
Albrecht said the owners of China Garden have posted a sign in the storefront notifying the public that an application is being considered. The sign will remain in the window until July 15 as part of a 30-day period allowing community members to voice opposition to the license. The objections of Linver and any others who come forward will be considered at an administrative hearing, which will probably take place 15 to 30 days after July 15, Albrecht said. Following the hearing, a judge will decide whether or not to grant the China Garden its liquor license.
Guan said she does not know how or if she will respond to the IVFP’s opposition to her application but she hopes the license is granted soon so she can begin serving Chinese and American beers to her customers.
“[With the license] we can provide the unique beer Tsingtao and American beer,” Guan said. “I hope this will go smoothly. … I do not know what I’ll do [about the IVFP].”
Linver said he would not object to China Garden purchasing an existing liquor license from another restaurant in the area such as Caf