Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC
Attorneys & Counselors at Law


Holiday Edition 

December 2011

In This Issue
Holiday Alcohol Sales Hours
Feed the Need
Governor's Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee
Updates to Class C & SDD License Quotas
MI Grape & Wine Conference

MLCC Holiday Hours

The MLCC will be closed on December 23, 26 & 30, 2011 and January 2, 2012

  Congratulations to

our Clients

 on their

License Transfers


Recent Openings



 Mio Saloon



Old Chicago Pasta & Pizza



Sanctuary Lake Golf Course



Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority

(Metro Beach, Indian Springs, Stony Creek)


Flat Top Grill

(Rochester Hills)


Northville Hills Golf Course



P.F. Chang's China Bistro

(Grand Rapids)


Concorde Inn

(Rochester Hills)


Dollar General

(Multiple locations)


Rusty Bucket Corner Tavern

(Bloomfield Hills)


Kicker's/Joey's Comedy Club



Martin's Super Markets



Bridge Vista Beach Hotel & Conference Center

(Mackinaw City)


Tini Bikinis



Exit Restaurant

(Birch Run)


Rite Aid Discount Pharmacy #4402



Rite Aid Discount Pharmacy #3315



Cancun Mexican Grill

(St. Johns)


Steakhouse Philly



8 Degree Plato



 Upcoming Industry Events  


MLBA Government Affairs Retreat

January 16, 2012

Cheers in Mt. Pleasant



MRA Board Meeting

January 23, 2012

Detroit Book Cadillac



 2012 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference

Feb 22 -24, 2012

Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids


Join Our Mailing List

Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC


John B. Carlin, Jr.

 (248) 816-3210


Scott D. Edwards

 (248) 816-3205


Michael J. Brown

 (517) 321-4616


  Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC 2011.

  All rights reserved. 


This newsletter provides general information and does not constitute legal advice in any way. 


 Find industry updates on our website and blog




We offer a holiday thank you to our clients for their trust in us, thanks to all the administrators for their patience and help and a wish for happy holidays to all of the friends of our Firm for their continued support. All the best to you and yours - to you all we will each tip a glass this holiday season.
Holiday Alcohol Sales Hours

Michigan law has changed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Alcohol sales are now only prohibited between the hours of 11:59 p.m., December 24th (Christmas Eve) and 12:00 Noon on Christmas Day. No additional permitting is required.


Expanded New Year's hours remain the same. On-premise Licensees can continue alcohol service until 4:00 a.m. with consumption of alcoholic beverages to end by 4:30 a.m.


However, please be advised that you should contact your local governmental unit to determine if there are local prohibitions on alcohol sales for these legal holidays.

Feed the Need

We want to thank our many clients and other food service operators, owners, and chefs, who responded to our call to join us in this new program. Detroit Area Chefs' Feed The Need program was started in late August and we quickly signed up 52 Detroit area restaurants, hotels, markets, hospitals, clubs and others to feed the homeless and unemployed men, women and children in Detroit and Pontiac. We chose several homeless centers or organizations such as the Cass Community Center in Detroit and the Baldwin Center in Pontiac. Our program involves one of our food service establishments serving 200-450 men, women and children on a Wednesday once a year, at noon in one of these facilities. The restaurant or hotel provides a complete meal and dessert, prepares it at its own facility, and then delivers it and serves it at the facility. We launched the program on October 18th with Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith and a number of owners and chefs at the MRA Food Show in Novi. The press coverage was excellent, and on Wednesday, Mike Ansley and his Buffalo Wild Wings staff provided the first meal to about 250 people.


It is gratifying and amazing to be a part of this and is an effort by our industry to give back to the Detroit area and especially those in need. We are well on our way to our goal of 104 restaurants and food service providers so we can ultimately serve two facilities each Wednesday. Much appreciation and the success of this effort is a result of the contributions by our committee consisting of Norm LePage (Big Rock Chop House), Brian Polcyn (Forest Grill), Penny Papantonopoulos (formerly COO of the MRA), Jane Carlin, Paula Grandon (Jeremy's) and especially these 4 fabulous women who took this project under their angel wings and made it the huge success that it is: Mindy Van Hellemont (Tallulah's), Kate Lawson (Detroit News), Judi Shefman and Michelle Todd.


If you would like to join us, call John at (248) 816-3210.

Mike Brown Wraps Up Work on Governor's Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee

The Advisory Rules Committee ("ARC") formed pursuant to Governor Snyder's Executive Order 2011-5 for the purpose of reviewing the current Administrative Rules of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission held its first meeting on August 24, 2011. The ARC held seven additional meetings throughout the months of September-December before concluding its work on December 5th. In total, the 20-member Liquor Control ARC met for approximately 30 hours to deliberate dozens of proposals brought forward by committee members to revise the existing Liquor Control Code and Administrative Rules. The full report of the ARC that will eventually be submitted to the Office of Regulatory Reinvention, and ultimately Governor Snyder, is expected to be over 100 pages in length. Some of the rules being recommended for elimination or amendment date back to Michigan's initial Liquor Control Code adopted in 1933 at the end of Prohibition. The ARC took decisive action in reviewing many aspects of Michigan's Liquor Control Code and Administrative Rules in an effort to "modernize" Michigan's regulatory environment as it relates to liquor licensing and other aspects of liquor regulation. Because the full report of the ARC has not yet been released for public review and comment, we are unable here to divulge the specific proposals adopted by the Committee. Once the specific proposals and recommendations of the ARC are made public, we will provide a thorough discussion of those proposed changes, and their likely impact on our clients, in a future special newsletter. The ARC's report is expected to be made public in January 2012.


Michael Brown was one of only two private-practice attorneys appointed to the Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee. Mike was responsible for drafting several of the proposed amendments and was a key contributor to much of the discussion on the proposed revisions. Mike estimates that since August he spent well over 100 hours on ARC-related work.

MLCC Certifies 2010 Census and Updates Class C and SDD License Quotas
The MLCC recently issued Administrative Order No. 2011-6 adopting the results of the 2010 Federal Decennial Census as it relates to Michigan's state population, and the population of each village, township, and city within Michigan. The census results form the basis for allocating Michigan's Class C (on-premise consumption of beer, wine and spirits) and SDD (off-premise spirits) licenses. The MLCC allocates one Class C license per 1,500 persons and one SDD license per 3,000 persons in each city, village or township in the State. Because the quota allocation only changes every 10 years, it has significant ramifications on the availability of new licenses.The new availability of these Class C and SDD licenses further impacts the value of existing licenses.


Some interesting facts can be observed by reviewing the census data and new license quotas. For example, the 2010 census added 275 new Class C licenses throughout the State in places where the population grew. On the other hand, the new census data also caused 323 Class C licenses to be canceled state-wide in places where the population dropped. In those places where the number of quota licenses increased, this represents opportunities for new businesses to open without the extra cost of buying an escrowed license. For example, throughout Macomb County, 42 new Class C licenses were added to its various cities, villages and townships. The new census also added 27 Class C licenses to the quota throughout Wayne County, 25 new licenses in Oakland County, 28 new licenses in Kent County and 18 new licenses in Washtenaw County.  Interestingly, Wayne County also "lost" 189 Class C licenses from its quota, including 158 in the City of Detroit alone. This does not mean licensees had their licenses taken away from them, but merely reflects the number that should be in the quota today. In many of Michigan's larger cities, the number of licenses issued is actually "over quota" because the licenses were previously issued when the quota was larger and, once issued, the license does not get cancelled while it remains in active operation.


The new census resulted in 136 new SDD licenses being added to the State's quota. 21 of those new SDD licenses are available in Macomb County. Wayne County added 15 licenses to its SDD quota, despite the fact that through population loss, 93 licenses are subject to cancellation if they are ever deactivated. Washtenaw and Ottawa Counties will both add 10 new licenses to their SDD quotas, while Oakland County has 12 new SDD licenses to hand out. Kent County has 9 new SDD licenses, and Genesee County, despite an overall population drop, will add 5 new SDD licenses in certain villages or townships where the population has grown.


If you have any questions about how the quota system works, or are interested in pursuing one of the new quota licenses, please contact our Firm to discuss these opportunities. Obviously, the census did not add Class C or SDD licenses in every city, village or township in Michigan and thus there remain many places where licenses are not available, or will only be available by purchasing an existing escrowed license in the secondary market. With these new quota licenses available, the secondary market for licenses is affected dramatically for the next few years. Our state-wide practice, representing licensees in every county in Michigan, uniquely positions our Firm to provide insight on the current value of licenses and the availability of those licenses for your business. We would be happy to discuss those opportunities with you, but do not delay. When issuing these new quota licenses, the MLCC generally gives priority to the first completed application. Thus, timing is critical when attempting to obtain a new Class C or SDD license from the quota.
2012 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference

Carlin Edwards Brown Licensing Specialist, former MLCC Enforcement Director and long-time head of the MLCC's Manufacturers and Wholesalers Section Rick Perkins will attend the 2012 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference to be held February 22-24, 2012 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids.  This annual conference brings together many of the experts in Michigan's growing wine industry.  Linda Jones, Executive Director of the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council, has once again put together a star-studded line-up of speakers and program content beneficial to existing Michigan wineries and those looking to get into wine-making or wine-selling businesses.  The MLCC will be represented at this year's conference by Licensing Director Sharon Martin and Teresa Whitehead, current head of the Manufacturers and Wholesalers Section. 


Rick Perkins will be at the Carlin Edwards Brown booth throughout the Conference to lend his expertise in licensing all aspects of the wine industry, including the new wine sampling permits being issued by the MLCC.   Please stop by and say hello to Rick if you are attending the Conference, or make an appointment in advance by calling Rick at 517-321-4623 if you have questions you would like to discuss with Rick about Michigan's wine industry and wine regulations.