MLCC streamlines applications for outdoor bar and other permits

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

In an effort to help liquor licensees who have been negatively affected by the stay-at-home order to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission announced a new resource hub.

The goal is to assist bar and restaurant owners get ready to reopen to the public. 

This includes the streamlining of applications for outdoor bar permits and "Specially Designated Merchant" licensees, which allow establishments with certain types of liquor licenses to sell wine and beer to go. Bars and restaurants are still not permitted to sell cocktails or liquor as carryout items. 

“At the governor’s direction, we are pleased to join her in helping liquor licensees get back to business in a safe and profitable way. This is our top priority right now,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi Tuesday in an email to liquor license holders. “Licensees brought their needs to the table through a ‘reopening workgroup’ and the Commission took action."

The empty bar and restaurant of the closed Detroit Foundation Hotel in downtown Detroit, Michigan on March 30, 2020.

The resource hub at for business owners lists frequently asked questions, has links to permit applications and includes the results of a survey of Michigan residents about life after the stay-at-home order, conducted by Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. It also links to a reopening resource guide from the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association. 

These are the latest initiatives the state and MLCC have implemented to try and help bars, restaurants, hotels, resorts and the like. Earlier this spring, more than 650 on-premise liquor license holders took advantage of the state's liquor buy-back program, which put $3.4 million temporarily back into their pockets.

Licensees have also been able to take advantage of extended deadlines for liquor license renewals as well as sales tax payments and filings.

Twitter: @melodybaetens