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Manpreet Singh, owner of Pacific Market, helps a customer.
Business Community Voice

Pacific Market Liquor License Upgrade Denied

Pacific Market, the corner store at 2500 P Street recently applied for a Conditional Use Permit to upgrade their liquor license from type 20 (beer and wine) to type 21 (liquor), received news that their application has been denied.

Since the Pacific Market is under 12,000 feet, the owner, Manpreet Singh, had to apply for a Conditional Use Permit requiring approval by City Council and the Sacramento Police Department before applying for a liquor license with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Pacific Market falls under district four, which is Councilmember Steve Hansen’s jurisdiction.

According to information pulled from the Sacramento County Code section of the Quality Code Publishing website, “A conditional use permit is a zoning instrument used primarily to review the location and conduct of certain land uses that are known to have a distinct impact on the area in which they are located, or are capable of creating special problems for bordering properties, unless given special attention. A conditional use permit is a discretionary permit and is not the automatic right of an applicant.”

Manpreet Singh and his wife Roma have owned the market for 12 years and consider it their second home. Singh is disappointed at being turned down for a Conditional Use Permit.

“The city was not in full support of us having the spirits license,” said Singh. “We had a large following and a lot of support, we were at five to one, five being in favor of us having a spirits license.”

The possible upgrade had caused a stir among neighbors of the surrounding area, with many voicing their opinion for or against the possible upgrade on Facebook, neighborhood sites such as Nextdoor and at community meetings. Many people who have voiced against the upgrade are afraid that granting a type 21 liquor license to a corner store will open the flood gates for others to follow suit, as well as adding to the vagrancy issue in the area.

Anthony Giannotti, owner of Bottle & Barlow and Anthony’s Barbershop, has been a patron of the Pacific Market for 11 years and was in support of the Pacific Market.

“They’ve always been respectful and polite, they carry high-end products, I don’t personally think there is a homeless issue, and they’ve always handled their business and been great neighbors,” said Giannotti. “I think the level of quality that they carry sets them apart from a lot of the other stores in the downtown area.”

Giannotti says he feels for their struggles, having been through his own liquor license procedure.

“As a local business owner, especially somebody that has gone through the liquor license process, I think that we need to hear them out,” said Giannotti. “A liquor license can always be taken away, to me, it’s more important to give someone who has a proven track record than to give to somebody that has no track record.”

Singh has 15 days from the decision date of mailing to start the appeal process, but has decided not to go through with it.

“At the end, it goes through the city councilmembers office and chief of police, but those people have already made up their mind, and it’s hard to change their mind once it’s already made,” said Singh. “I decided not to appeal because I know at the end it was a no and there’s no point in wasting time and losing more money.”

Singh expressed gratitude to the neighbors and community that showed support during the process.

“We gave it our best shot,” said Singh.

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