WOODLAND HILLS : Restaurant to Appeal Liquor License Denial


Saying it has the support of the community, a well-established Italian restaurant will appeal its denial of a liquor license at a hearing in Los Angeles today.

Paoli’s Pizzeria & Piano Bar wants to transfer its liquor license to a new location, 21618-20-22 Ventura Blvd., about a half-mile down the street from its current site. On April 21, however, the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control denied its application for a transfer, saying that Paoli’s was within 100 feet of residences and refused to take steps that would alleviate potential problems for nearby homes.

Dee Barsi, assistant manager at Paoli’s, contended that 4,000 customers have signed a petition that restaurant owner Chairon Miller will present at the 9 a.m. hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings, 314 W. 1st St., Los Angeles.


“Give us a chance,” Barsi said. “We’re here nine years. We cater to a nice clientele.”

Of the four residents who live within 100 feet of the property--which is two blocks west of Canoga Avenue on the south side of Ventura Boulevard--one was opposed, one had no objections and two did not respond to inquiries, according to Jim Smith, district administrator for the ABC’s Van Nuys district office.

On Oct. 15, 1993, less than a month after Paoli’s applied for the license, the office received a petition signed by 24 opponents of the license who expressed fears of late-night noise, parking shortages, traffic congestion and intoxicated patrons.

Smith said the petition was not a factor in the department’s decision because petitioners did not meet the agency’s requirements for a legal petition--even after the ABC informed them of its criteria.

The administrator placed the chances of the administrative law judge overturning the agency’s decision at “50-50.”

“We denied it based on the rule (that the ABC may deny licenses to applicants within 100 feet of residences) and comments from that one resident who objected,” Smith said. “We would like to have those people appear. If they refuse to appear, that kind of weakens our case.”

The judge will listen to arguments from both sides today, and will issue a ruling within 30 days. If Paoli’s does not win its appeal, it will have the opportunity to plead its case at three successively higher levels in the appeals process.