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Our View: Restrictive liquor license is unfair to Great Mex Grill

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Guess what?

Our next-door neighbor, Great Mex Grill, will soon serve alcohol — but they aren’t allowed to tell you about it.

The City of Long Beach approved Great Mex for a liquor license but not before placing some limits on it.

As part of its agreement with the Long Beach City Council, Great Mex cannot direclty advertise alcohol to Cal State Long Beach students.

In addition, Great Mex must limit its hours for serving alcohol.

“The goal is to keep people going [to Great Mex] for the food, not the drinks,” Long Beach City Councilman Patrick O’Donnell said.

Although the restrictive liquor license may be appealing to O’Donnell and nearby neighborhoods, we find it both unfair and unjustified.

Preventing Great Mex from advertising alcohol to CSULB students is pre-emptive. It’s forestalling something that otherwise may have never become a problem.

Great Mex is a restaurant. It’s not a bar. It’s not an attractive scene for students looking to get wasted.

If the Great Mex advertised alcohol, we doubt that drunk CSULB students would later be found stumbling down Atherton Street.

If anything, students may stop by every now and then for a beer. Not to mention, advertising alcohol to CSULB students would promote local business sales.

Restricting such advertisement, on the other hand, could hurt those sales.

According to CSULB Dean of Students Jeff Klaus, adverertising alcohol to students is against CSULB policies.

“If you have to promote alcohol discounts as a way to attract students, this is not they type of environment we want to create,” he said. “But rather we want to promote responsible consumption and a healthy lifestyle.”

While advertising alcohol may not be allowed on campus, there is no evidence to show that Great Mex would advertise in a way promoting irresponsible alcohol consumption.

To assume otherwise is unfair.

Great Mex should be allowed to advertise alcohol as it would like. The restaurant has gone through enough trouble to be approved for a liquor license since its original application for approval was denied in February.

Now, even with a liquor license on the way, the Great Mex will have to keep its alcohol sales under wraps when CSULB students are around, thanks to those city restrictions.

The joke is on the city, though, since we’ve already told you about the alcohol coming next door.

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