Liquor license to transfer to new owner

Published 10:38 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Selma City Council could soon approve the transfer of an off-premises liquor license to the new owner of a Selmont business.

Abdul Ahmed, the new owner of Harold’s Grocery on Old Montgomery Highway in Selmont, has applied for a transfer of off-premises licenses to sell beer and wine at the store.

Local government officials said there has been some confusion in the community about the store’s liquor license, and whether or not it would be in violation of Selma’s moratorium on new liquor licenses.

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“The store already sells beer and wine now, so it’s nothing new coming in,” Dallas County Commissioner Connel Towns said. “They just have a new owner and he’s just looking to transfer all the licenses into his name.”

Over recent months, Selmont residents have expressed dismay about the possibility of a nightclub opening in town and applying for a new liquor license.

Selma City Council President Corey Bowie said some members of the public have gotten the two licenses — the one being transferred to the new owner at Harold’s and the one that would be required by the potential nightclub — confused.

Currently, there is a moratorium on the books in Selma, meaning no new liquor licenses can be issued within the city limits and the police jurisdiction.

Ahmed applied for the license transfer before he took ownership of the store on June 23, and said he is looking forward to getting the proper permits in his name.

“We are trying to get everything in order, step-by-step, and the next thing we are waiting for is this license,” Ahmed said.

Bowie said the council would vote on the license transfer during a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

“This will come up for a vote during Tuesday’s meeting, and I don’t think it will have any problems getting approved,” Bowie said.

According to Bowie, the city recently started reviewing license transfers as a way to ensure the new owners do not owe the city any back taxes when they take over the business.

“It’s just something we put on the books to make sure we collect all the taxes we are due,” Bowie said. “And Mr. Ahmed currently owes no taxes. We have checked.”

For Towns, the license transfer means Ahmed will be able to continue doing business in Selmont.

“We are trying to keep our all the businesses we have in the community, in the community,” Towns said. “I haven’t received too many phone calls or complaints about this business, so we are going to do all we can to support what they are doing in our community.”