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Friday, May 25, 2018
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SoHo business owners ask for review of liquor license denial

SOUTH TAMPA — The owner of Irish 31 pub and a couple from whom he hoped to lease property for a new SoHo restaurant are asking a special magistrate to review the Tampa City Council’s denial of a liquor license.

Jay Mize, the pub’s owner, and John and Mary Ann Benton, owners of The Other Side Antiques, have requested the review of the council’s July 18 ruling.

Mize planned to open Field House, a family-style restaurant with a large outdoor deck, at 308 S. Howard Ave. The Bentons’ antique store now stands at the location.

In July, city council members voted to deny Mize’s request for a liquor license, largely because the new restaurant would have no on-site parking.

Mark Bentley, Mize’s attorney, said the decision was unfair because the council has given parking waivers to other establishments that use valet services to provide off-site parking. And Mize had arranged leases with a reputable valet company that would have provided the nearby spaces required by the city, Bentley said.

The Bentons, who have owned the antique shop for 28 years, supported Mize’s plans, saying it is difficult to run their business on the stretch of Howard Avenue known as “Restaurant Row.”

The council’s decision was “improper, unreasonable, and imposed an unfair burden” on Mize and the property owners, the filing states.

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Twitter: @LizBehrmanTBO

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