Mike’s Place could sell mixed drinks after Tuesday

Kimberly Dick

Emily McCarthy, 24, pours a beer at Mike’s Place last night. Mike’s Place is currently attempting to get its liquor license. “It will make the guests happier. They don’t have to go somewhere else (for liquor),” McCarthy said.

Credit: Jason Hall

Mike’s Place in Kent hopes to expand its menu to include mixed drinks this fall. On Tuesday, it is up to local voters to decide if this addition will occur.

Currently, Mike’s Place has a license to sell beer and wine. Through its ballot issue, the restaurant is seeking a site-specific spirituous liquor license.

“We’re not really a bar, but I’d like to be able to offer mixed drinks,” said Mike Kostensky, owner of Mike’s Place. “The way this area is growing, there will be something here eventually. If a (TGI) Friday’s opened across the street, they could have a liquor license, and I’d be stuck with beer and wine.”

Mike’s Place, located at 1700 S. Water St., is located in a dry area for spirituous liquor.

The petition Mike’s Place filed said the sale of spirituous liquor would be permitted only for Mike’s Place, not for the area, said Glenda Enders, deputy director of the Portage County Board of Elections.

“This is for a particular premise,” she said. “Passing it will give Mike’s Place a permit, not change the law.”

The restaurant almost was able to serve hard drinks years ago.

“I’d applied for a spirituous license five, six or seven years ago, and they notified me that I could receive it,” Kostensky said. “It made it all the way to the Board of Elections.”

He then found out that the law needed to be changed for him to upgrade his liquor license. So Kostensky had to get it on the ballot.

“There are not many liquor licenses available,” Kostensky said. “You send in money to get on the waiting list. We’ve been on that list for a long time. I was notified that I could get a license. If I didn’t put it on the ballot, another establishment could be taking the license.”

If Mike’s Place’s ballot issue fails, another bar in town that is on the list waiting for a license will obtain a permit. It will probably go into a wet area, Kostensky said.

So far there hasn’t been opposition to the Mike’s Place ballot issue.

“I personally don’t see any problem with a liquor license there, and I’ve heard nothing from residents about it,” said Ward 3 Councilman Wayne Wilson.

Mike’s Place’s primary goal is to be a restaurant.

“We’re not a bar. We’re just a restaurant,” Kotensky said. “Hopefully, people vote yes.”

On Tuesday, voters also may vote as to whether:

  • Giant Eagle in Streetsboro may sell wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor on Sundays.
  • Kale Golf Course Clubhouse in Palmyra may sell beer on Sundays.
  • Marc’s in Ravenna may sell wine and mixed beverages on Sundays.
  • Suffield Carryout may sell wine and mixed beverages on Sundays.

Contact public affairs reporter Kimberly Dick at [email protected].