0121_dnr_Sipe Center_1

The entrance and lobby of the Sipe Center in downtown Bridgewater.

Starting in 2021, Bridgewater’s Sipe Center will offer beer and wine during live events after Town Council approved the concession stand addition during Tuesday’s meeting.

The use of the Alcoholic Beverage Control permit was approved 5-1, with Councilman Jim Tongue voting in opposition and Councilman Bill Miracle absent.

The permit was granted in 2019 after the General Assembly approved legislation by former Del. Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave, to amend the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act to allow the sale for on-premises consumption at any multipurpose theater located in the historic district of the town of Bridgewater.

Landes said in a previous interview with the Daily News-Record that to obtain an ongoing alcohol license, it had to be approved by the General Assembly. Once approved, it allows Bridgewater to avoid applying for one-time event licenses to serve alcohol.

But since the multipurpose theater’s opening in November, the permit has not been used. Alex Wilmer, assistant town manager, said in October that the town would revisit the use of the ongoing alcohol license, and did so Tuesday.

“We think it will boost concession sales at live events in the future, in 2021, as all shows were canceled this year,” Wilmer said.

Since the Sipe Center opened, Wilmer said, town staff began noticing concession sales were lower during live events compared to movie showings, and the addition of alcohol sales could help boost revenue.

Other items on Tuesday’s agenda included approval of selling land on Don Litten Parkway for a Smiley’s Ice Cream expansion.

The lot is located on the corner of Dinkel Avenue and Don Litten Parkway and has been vacant for several years.

With no comment during the public hearing portion of the evening, council members unanimously approved the sale of the property to Derek Smiley, owner of Smiley’s Ice Cream. The new location is estimated to be 5,000 square feet and open by January 2022.

Contact Jessica Wetzler at 574-6279 or jwetzler@dnronline.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @wetzler_jessica

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