Wondering how to get a liquor license in Brookhaven? Start here

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, February 19, 2022

Long-established restaurant Star Drive-In has completed all the steps to get a liquor license to serve daiquiris at the business on Monticello Street. They now await a visit from the Alcohol Beverage Control Division to ensure all is well with the construction of an indoor seating area necessary when serving alcohol.

In Brookhaven, applicants seeking to serve alcohol at an establishment must meet statutory qualifications set through the Mississippi Code. Established policies require applicants to file certain documents to determine eligibility for licensing as well as suitability of the business premises to offer alcoholic beverages for sale.

The main document consists of 19 pages: one cover page and three explanation pages, leaving 15 pages to fill out. This document can be found on the brookhaven-ms.gov website. There are 16 permit types and applicants must choose one. Choices include package retailer, caterer’s permit and manufacturer classes I, II and III.

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The applicant must cite statement of ownership to determine who must file qualifying documents, such as financial statements, fingerprint cards, verification waivers, lease or ownership papers of the business involved, a detailed floor plan and menu of said business, newspaper publications and proof of publication, an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau form and a sales tax number form.

Restaurants in particular come under extra scrutiny. A business must first qualify as an actual restaurant before even beginning to think about getting a liquor license. In order to do that, a business owner must do the following:

  1. Provide a menu that contains at minimum five separate entrees. Food must be prepared at least in part on the premises and not be considered merely heated and served or “ready-to-eat” preparation. Specialty or themed restaurants may be exempted if the entree line contains and acceptable number of variations on the theme.
  2. Obtain and maintain a Proof of Permit from the Mississippi State Department of Health.
  3. Employ a minimum of one management employee with food managing education and experience.
  4. Have a kitchen that contains functional eligible equipment, such as an oven and stove top, cold storage areas, ventilation hood, adequate food prep areas, a mop sink, a three-compartment sink and separate hand-washing facilities for employees.
  5. A minimum of 25 percent of gross annual sales are derived from the preparation and servicing and food.
  6. Meet any other requirements set forth in Miss. Code Ann. Section 67-1-5(m)

Only after all these steps will an onsite visit occur to ensure all is well with the restaurant.