New Ogunquit Mexican restaurant gets liquor license on second try

Posted Jan. 23, 2014, at 7:25 p.m.

OGUNQUIT, Maine — La Playa D’Ogunquit Mexican restaurant’s liquor license was approved by the board of selectmen Tuesday night, Jan. 21, after failing to receive the required number of votes Jan. 7.

At the Jan. 7 meeting, the Select Board’s 2-0-3 vote resulted in a failure to approve a liquor application for the restaurant. A clerical error — the wrong year written on the application — might have prompted at least one selectman to withhold approval of the application, but also enabled the applicant to bring the license back to the board for a new vote.

At the previous meeting, selectmen Chris Jarochym, Bob Winn and David Barton voted “present” only. That move prompted some in town to email both the selectmen and Town Manager Tom Fortier, expressing “disgust” and questioning the selectmen’s “personal agendas.”

Some residents spoke out against the new restaurant in recent months because of its ties to the Pennsylvania-based El Rodeo chain, founded by the Arellano family. Opponents of the eatery argued it would violate the town’s ordinance prohibiting so-called formula restaurants, and owners of La Playa were ultimately prohibited from using anything — such as design, menus and even purchasing — that could tie the Ogunquit location to the El Rodeo chain.

None of that was a concern Tuesday night, with Jarochym thanking owner Josh Arellano for his patience and making a motion to approve the resubmitted application.

That was quickly followed by a “second” from Barton and Winn. Without further comment, the motion to approve passed 5-0.

 

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