HUDSON — City Council voted 4-3 to request a hearing regarding a pending liquor license at CLE Social, 186 N. Main St.

Council President William Wooldredge (at large), and Council members Casey Weinstein (Ward 2) and Hal DeSaussure (at large) voted against having a hearing, and Dr. J. Dan Williams (at large), Dennis Hanink (Ward 1), Alex Keleman (Ward 3) and Beth Bigham (Ward 4) voted for the hearing.

A representative from CLE Social could not be reached for comment.

“We are talking about a business that advertises itself as a social hangout,” said Keleman. “A place to go after school. They are basically looking to serve beer in a place that is relatively small, and they have kids.”

Ultimately, the Ohio Department of Liquor Control will have the final say in whether CLE Social receives the D-1 license, Keleman added.

“It’s an arcade, and they do market it as an after-school place for kids to go,” Bigham said, adding she feels Council should request a hearing. “I think it’s worth doing the due diligence.”

However, DeSaussure said a hearing would only stall the inevitable.

“The fact of the matter is, these things get approved as a matter of form,” he said. “There isn’t anything on this application that looks like it would be handled any differently by the liquor board. We’ve tried this before on various businesses in town. We’ve done submissions and we’ve even sent testimony on various things, and we lost on every single one of them. Their view is very formulaic, and they look to see if they meet these boxes, and if they meet those boxes they issue the permit.”

Weinstein said that the establishment has a mix of games “but is mainly targeted to an older demographic.”

“I understand they have some after-school programs, but I doubt they will be offering beer to the kids,” he said. “I don’t see why we need to insert our morality into their business decision.”

Williams said while he agreed with DeSaussure about the city’s losses in previous hearings, he felt voting for a hearing “allows us to make a statement that we don’t necessarily think this is appropriate.”

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