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Wendy Reuer, Published November 26 2013

Fargo grants license for three additional bars

FARGO – The city is on the grow and so are its liquor licenses.

The City Commission on Monday unanimously approved granting three Class Z liquor licenses for the owners of Labby’s Bar and Grill at 1180 19th Ave. N.; JR Hospitality Group, LLP, the owners of Catherine’s at 609 NP Ave.; and a new bar planned at 2600 52nd Ave. S. tentatively called The Pink Pussy Cat Lounge.

Last month, the three businesses had all applied for the Class Z license relinquished by the closing of Mahoney’s Bar and Grill, 305 Broadway.

A Class Z license allows for unrestricted on-sale with no requirement for food sales. Unlike Fargo’s traditional full-bar liquor permits, a Class Z license is owned by the city, not the license holder.

The city originally had a limit of four Class Z licenses and could add another one every time Fargo gains 10,000 people. When Fargo hit 100,000 people in 2010, Mahoney's opened downtown with a fifth Z license.

So to approve adding two more licenses, City Attorney Erik Johnson said the commission must recognize the population has since grown past 110,000 and also reword the ordinance to retroactively add one more Z license to the original pool of four.

On Monday, the commission unanimously approved the second reading of the ordinance to allow seven Class Z Licenses in the city and recognized the population gain as 12,075, according to planning department data.