Although Stariha & Brower, PLC has recently begun working with manufacturers, our firm cut its teeth on – and has extensive experience with – liquor licensed retailers. Our off-premise licensee clients span the state of Michigan and encompass a vast variety of establishment types (liquor stores, party stores, grocery stores, gas stations, etc).
Our firm has obtained approval for liquor license transfers and applications in almost every county in the state; perhaps more importantly, our record for liquor license applications and transfers is perfect. Since our firm’s formation in 2011, MLCC has approved every license application and transfer request we initiated before them. Whether you are a party store owner seeking representation during the sale of your license and real estate, a purchaser seeking to obtain a license and real estate, or an applicant seeking a new quota license, our firm is well-versed in your needs and the most efficient methods of achieving your goals. From Specially Designated Distributor (SDD) licenses to Specially Designated Merchant (SDM) Licenses, our firm has experience in off-premise licensing that simply cannot be found in a general practice firm.
Rule 436.1133 (the 1/2 mile rule) restricts an applicant from placing a new/transfer SDD license within one 1/2 mile of an existing SDD license. Through years of experience, our firm has developed the knowledge and techniques that allow us to quickly determine the feasibility of obtaining a waiver of this rule. While this rule cannot be waived in many situations, we are adept at obtaining a waiver whenever the law permits.
Working with several of our largest clients – gas station chains that span the state of Michigan – has provided Stariha and Brower, PLC, with an intimate understanding off the highly-restrictive laws governing the sale of alcohol from locations with fuel pumps. For over 30 years, Jim Stariha emphasized this area of practice, leading the way in licensing gas stations when other practitioners could not. On two occasions, our firm (and Jim Stariha before the firm’s formation) fought the MLCC in court on the issue of the $250,000 inventory requirement; both times, the suits were successful and our clients received their licenses. Today, these clients remain a special area of focus for our firm, allowing us to remain up-to-date on possible and actual changes in state law.
In addition to liquor licensing needs (applications, transfers, and violations), we pride ourselves in acting as a full-service firm for liquor licensees. Our services include assisting with business organizations, contract preparation and review, real estate concerns, and the other issues that our clients face.