Denver Hasn't Gone Dry -- But an Excise and Licenses Update Is Going Slowly

The Cheba Hut downtown offers several ways to get toasted.
The Cheba Hut downtown offers several ways to get toasted.

UPDATE: After spending most of December 2014 down while the city completed an update to it, Denver's liquor license public hearings page is up and running again.

For years, nosy neighborhood groups, restaurant-industry insiders and food-and-beverage reporters have relied on the Denver Department of Excise & Licenses website, which features a page devoted to Liquor License Public Hearings. And with dozens of new restaurants opening in Denver over the past year, there have been plenty of hearings. But for the past month, that page has been blank. What's the deal? Has the concentration of cannabis-related businesses in Denver overwhelmed the department? Or have new restaurants just stopped applying for liquor licenses? We contacted Stacie Loucks, head of the Excise and Licenses, to get the scoop. See also: Best Customer Service 2013 -- Denver Department of Excise and Licenses

Businesses are still applying for liquor licenses, she says; in fact, there were two hearings yesterday -- for DiCicco's Italian and Cheba Hut.

And the work on marijuana businesses has not affected the liquor side of her department's work, either. "The list of marijuana hearings is uploaded as a pdf and is up to date for new store hearings," Loucks says.

The problem is that the department decided to update its liquor hearings site, and it's been going slowly. When we first asked about the missing info in mid-December, Loucks told us that Excise and Licenses had recently moved to a new software system for licensing a nd shared this explanation from the city's Technology Services division:

The Hearing Calendar was re-written in order to make it work more efficient. We are working on getting it tested to be available for migration to Production. We understand the importance and we are working on it right now in QA (quality assurance).

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Technology Services was back at Excise & Licenses yesterday, Loucks reports, and she says the new calendar should be up soon. When it is, you can find it here.

In the meantime, drink up.

Send tips to patricia.calhoun@westword.com.


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