I-Team: First look at bars asking to stay open late during RNC

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-- The FOX 8 I TEAM is giving you the first glimpse of some of the local bars and restaurants asking to stay open to serve alcohol past normal closing time during the Republican National Convention.

Cleveland has refused to provide a list of businesses applying. So we filed a records request in Independence. That city will likely be swarmed with visitors filling 15 hotels.

In Independence, we found 8 restaurants/bars and 6 hotels looking for the special permission to stay open late. If they get it, they would be allowed to stay open until 4 am.

Among those in Independence asking, Rich Anderson, the owner of J. Gumbo’s. Anderson said, “I was unsure at first. Then I thought, ‘would there be enough bars with all the hotels in Independence?’ A chance to make more money, more revenue for the business.”

At Delmonico’s Steakhouse, managers want the option to stay open just in case things get really busy. Jonathan Biniek said, “We’re really looking forward to it. The expectations are we’ll be really busy, and we’re planning for that.”

The Winking Lizard next door is even planning to hire extra staff.

Meantime, Cleveland City Hall not answering questions about late permits. By e-mail, spokesman Dan Ball wrote, “I can’t share any data on the liquor permit applications yet. Hopefully, next week…”

Recently at Fahrenheit in Cleveland’s Tremont section, chef Rocco Whalen said, “We’ve applied for that liquor license ‘til 4 a.m. All the neighborhood places have as well. We don’t know what to expect.”

The state says bars and restaurants can apply to stay open late during Convention week in Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Summit, Portage, Lorain, and Medina counties. Businesses were to submit their requests to their local leaders, and ultimately the state will have the final say. The state hopes to send out notices in mid-June.

The full list of businesses submitting requests for the late hours in Independence includes:

  • The Winking Lizard,
  • Delmonico’s Steakhouse,
  • Outback Steakhouse,
  • Bonefish Grill,
  • Slyman’s Tavern,
  • J. Gumbo’s,
  • Panini’s,
  • Melt Bar and Grill,
  • Hyatt Place,
  • Residence Inn,
  • Holiday Inn,
  • Doubletree Hotel,
  • Crowne Plaza,
  • Embassy Suites

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