South Kingstown, Rhode Island-The menu at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar features Cajun sirloin, barbecue chicken and garlic shrimp. But company officials also want it to include the Mucho CranRita, a drink made from tequila, orange liqueur and cranberry juice.
In a fight with the town of South Kingstown, Applebee's Northeast subsidiary has asked the state liquor control administrator to overturn a Town Council decision to let the company's liquor license lapse.
Applebee's earlier submitted plans to build a 201-seat restaurant at the entrance to the Village at South County Commons, a controversial development on Route 1.
Two weeks ago, council members said the company's one-year liquor license ended November 30. They invited the chain to reapply in August.
But Barry Gerstein, an Applebee's consultant, said the restaurant hadn't been able to use its liquor license because opponents of the Route 1 development have blocked the project in court.
"Their action, in effect, stopped the clock on the year-long license," Gerstein said. "Applebee's wasn't a party to that action, but [the opponents] stopped construction. Now we're sitting back, and we can't do anything."
The company is the only named tenant in the 28-building retail, residential and light-industry development.
Although the Planning Board earlier approved the project, opponents appealed the decision. When the Zoning Board of Review upheld the earlier vote, that ruling was also appealed.
Recently, the developer agreed to postpone construction until a Superior Court judge rules on the appeals. Under the stay, the developer can continue to work on plans and drawings and apply for permits. -The Providence Journal