Liquor License Renewed for Demolished Nome Bar

The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board approved all alcohol licenses associated with establishments in Nome during its latest meeting this week. That includes a license for the Polaris Bar and liquor store, which was burned down in November of 2017.

According to Erika McConnell, the director of the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office (AMCO), alcohol licenses are not revoked if the premises is destroyed. Nome City councilmember Jennifer Reader during a council meeting in February, questioned if that would require a significant change to the application.

“So on the license renewal for the Polaris, section 8 certifies that they have no floor plan alterations and last time I checked, they don’t even have a building.”

Even though a fire claimed the Polaris in its entirety, McConnell said via email the owner can obtain a waiver while it is not in operation and renew the business’s beverage dispensary and package store license.

Tina Yi, the person listed as owner on the license application for Polaris Bar and Liquor store, says she was issued a one-year waiver in February. Yi could not say what her future plans would be for using the license, except that she hopes to open up a new establishment. At this time, Yi says the cost of building a new place in Nome is prohibitive.

According to McConnell, the City of Nome could protest the renewal of Polaris’s license, but at this time the ABC Board has not received any such notice from the City. A local city official says the Nome Council is unlikely to protest the license application.

Also during its meeting this week, the ABC Board approved an ownership transfer for Milano’s Pizzaria as well as the license renewal application for Breakers Bar. 

McConnell says Chul Woo Kang is transferring ownership of the restaurant to Milano’s Pizzaria Inc. which is co-owned (50%-50%) by Chul Woo Kang and Kyung Ok Kang.

All pending licenses will be officially issued by McConnell unless the City of Nome protests them.

Image at Top: Site of Polaris Hotel the day after the building was burned to the ground. Photo: Provided by John Handeland (2017)