Commonwealth Journal

Local News

October 1, 2012

El Charro first city restaurant to serve alcohol

Somerset —  

Sure, the sight of beer trucks pulling up outside gas stations in Somerset has been a frequent occurrence over the last few weeks, as the first sales of alcohol have trickled in following the June option election.
But what about the restaurants?
Not many already-existing casual dining restaurants in town even put in for licenses to serve alcohol by the drink. An unlimited number could, however, as licenses of that time are not among the “quota” licenses, or ones limited to a certain number by the state. 
Five major casual dining restaurants along the U.S. 27 strip put in for licenses: El Charro, Casa Grande, Ruby Tuesday, and Tumbleweed.
Other eateries include the Briar Bowl bowling alley and in downtown Somerset, J. Gumbo’s, sort of a fast-food approach to a Cajun restaurant.
Of the casual dining restaurants on the highway, only El Charro is already serving alcohol. The Mexican cuisine restaurant got its Restaurant Liquor by the Drink license last Friday, and started serving last weekend, though it didn’t have quite a full supply in stock yet.
Now, according to owner Domingo Porron, they do — and they’re ready to sell, sell, sell.
“Most (people) right now don’t really know we have liquor right now,” said Porron. “When I get the license, I can get (the alcohol) delivered by Sunday ... sometimes it takes 24 hours to settle an account. Right now, we’ve got everything.”
That includes a bar area in the back of the restaurant, located in the Grand Central Place shopping center, that Porron hopes can turn out to be a good business investment.
“I think very good,” said Porron when asked how selling alcohol might help his business. He noted that people can buy beer at gas stations too, which might limit the impact sales at his restaurant would have slightly, but “it will help a little bit.”

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