DOWNEY - A planned restaurant and nightclub on 2nd Street in Downtown Downey had its operating permit revised Wednesday so it could begin serving customers of all ages, not just those 21 and older.The restaurant currently operates as Al Sultan Grill & Kabob at 8237 2nd St. and has space for an adjacent nightclub. It previously operated as the Epic Lounge. The business was originally granted a permit to serve alcohol and have live entertainment in 2009. The Planning Commission imposed several restrictions at the time, including building modifications and a minimum age limit of 21 after 9 p.m. However, the city was recently informed by the California department of Alcohol and Beverage Control that the age restriction is in violation of current state regulations. Planning commissioners unanimously rescinded the age limit on Wednesday, stipulating "there will be no age restrictions on the business, but the applicant is responsible to take all necessary actions to ensure...alcohol is not sold, given to, or consumed by persons under the age of 21." Business owner David Devis said the restaurant and nightclub will likely stay open until 2 a.m. on weekends. He plans to sell tickets for entry into the nightclub, which will subsidize the cost of required security. The city also stipulated that alcohol sales cannot constitute more than half of the business's total sales, and set guidelines on how customers waiting for entry into the nightclub should be lined up outside. "Just for clarification, this is a restaurant first, a nightclub second," said planning commissioner Louis Morales. Devis recently completed building renovations on the property, including the installation of fire alarms and additional bathrooms, and is preparing to open. The planning commission will review the nightclub's operating permit six months after it opens. "This is what were trying to promote downtown, have some people some dancing, have a good time," planning commissioner Michael Murray told Devis. "I hope you're successful and do a good job. I'm in favor of this." Morales agreed. "I'm all for entertainment in the downtown as long as it's controlled and within the sphere we want," he said.
********** Published: July 7, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 12