By Katrina Van Duzee/Garden Grove Journal
The Ice Kiss #2 restaurant in Garden Grove received some tough love from the city at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The council voted 5-0 to uphold the planning commission’s decision to deny the restaurant an extension in hours of operation to midnight, seven days a week. Ice Kiss, located on Garden Grove Boulevard, opened in 2010 and recently obtained a license to sell beer and wine.
“The economy is still really bad. We have been open four months without a beer license and there is still not many customers,” business manager for the restaurant, Il Ahn said.
Ahn argued that in order for the restaurant to stay in business during tough times, they would have to extend their hours from 10 p.m. on week nights and 11 p.m. on weekends, in order to stay competitive with neighboring eateries and appeal to a young crowd that eats late.
The Garden Grove Police Department and community development department presented a staff report recommending the city council deny Ice Kiss the hour extension, due to a high rate of crime in the area and because their facilities are located within 50-feet of residential housing.
Both departments found by allowing late night use of the facility it would potentially turn into a bar atmosphere, disturb the residents and increase crime.
Ice kiss is located in police district 65, which has had the highest crime rate in Garden Grove for the past two years. In 2010, crime in this district was up 203 percent from the average, according to the police department.
“We are not protesting their liquor license, we just want them to stay consistent with the standard operating hours set up,” Police Chief Kevin Raney said.
The “standard operating hours” Raney references are the current business hours Ice Kiss operates, which is consistent with set standards the city adopted for new businesses with beer and wine license in 2009.
Garden Grove recently loosened its policy on businesses they grant Conditional Use Permit’s to, in order to help the success of start-up businesses, but in return came up with standards in order to help police the establishments.
“Late night hours of operation combined with customers who might have been drinking may seriously disturb the peace of residents and cause land use conflicts,” Community Development Director, Susan Emery said.
Although the business owner, Song Won Yi, made the argument she was helping limit crime because of surveillance cameras and lighting she has installed, the council decided to deny her request. Councilmember Dina Nguyen suggested Ice Kiss operate under the standard hours for a period of time with their new liquor license and then come back to the city with this request after they get a reaction from the community.
“Competition is not a good reason to issue a liquor license that doesn’t fit in with our city policy,” Councilmember Bruce Broadwater said.
Also at the city council, a second reading was passed 5-0, adopting changes in zoning standards and a development agreement between the city and Garden Grove MXD, Inc., pushing forward the Great Wolf Resort project.