Omaha City Council OKs liquor license for Gavilon

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Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:00 am

The Omaha City Council on Tuesday granted permission for a liquor license at commodities trading firm Gavilon's new downtown Omaha headquarters. City Clerk Buster Brown called it an unusual request for a corporate office.

Other offices that occasionally host events where alcohol is sold — Mutual of Omaha, for example — have typically sought a one-time permit called a “special designated license,” Brown said.

But Gavilon said it wanted the flexibility of hosting an event without the advance notice that an event-by-event license would require.

“Holding a license will enable us to serve alcoholic beverages at our after-hour events, when appropriate,” spokesman Pat Burke said.

Depending on how many events Gavilon hosts, it also could save money by holding the Class I license, which has an annual fee of $776, instead of paying for several one-time permits at $25 a day. The license allows for the sale of beer, wine and liquor for on-premises consumption.

Brown said a permit is needed only if alcohol will be sold, if a ticket price will be charged or if an event is open to the public. Private corporate parties with hosted bars and no charge to enter do not require a license, he said.

Burke said Gavilon does not have plans now to sell alcohol to its guests but wants the flexibility to do so if the need arises.

A floor plan submitted with Gavilon's request indicates two areas for alcohol consumption: the fifth-floor north-facing outdoor balcony, which has a view of TD Ameritrade Park, and the fourth-floor corporate boardroom adjacent to a catering kitchen.

The request came through Guckenheimer Services, the California catering company that operates the cafeteria at Gavilon, 1331 Capitol Ave.

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission said the license will be issued if there are no protests over the next 10 days from anyone in the greater Omaha area. If there is a protest, the commission will hold a hearing on the matter.

World-Herald staff writer Erin Golden contributed to this report.

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