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City council amends liquor code

Children under 21 can now legally have supper with their parents in Oregon bars.

The Oregon City Council made three amendments to the city’s liquor code Tuesday evening, including allowing minors to eat a meal in a bar, as long as they are accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.

Currently, the code prohibits minors from being in bars that serve no food.

Mayor Ken Williams recommended the change after a request from the Cork & Tap, 305 W. Washington St., that serves only liquor but is next door to Hazel’s Cafe.

He said Cork & Tap patrons often bring food from Hazel’s into the bar, and want to bring their children with them.

The two businesses have a connecting door.

The new law requires that minors must remain in a designated area of the bar and must leave no later than 8 p.m.

Commissioner Jim Barnes opposed the change.

“I don’t think this is a good idea. Do you think this is good for kids?” he asked commissioner Terry Schuster, a retired school counselor.

“I don’t see any significant downside,” Schuster replied, adding that the change will bring in more business. 

“That’s always a good thing,” he said.

The measure passed 3-2 with Barnes and Tom Izer dissenting, while Williams, Schuster, and Kurt Wilson voted yes.

The other two liquor code amendments passed by unanimous votes.

The council added Limited Liability Corporation as a form of business allowed to hold a liquor license.

They also changed the code to require all types of businesses that hold liquor licenses to have either a resident owner or resident manager for their liquor facilities.

Currently, only partnerships were allowed to have a resident manager if the owner was not a resident, but a resident owner was required for others, including sole proprietorships and corporations.

Under the new ordinance, Williams said, all liquor license applicants who are not residents must have a facility manager who lives within 25 miles of Oregon.

In other business the council held a public hearing to form an Enterprise Zone,