Bloomfield Township Grants Liquor Licenses for Maple Theater, Bagger Dave's

However, only ticket holders will be served at the iconic theater under a six-month contract provision imposed by township officials.


Fans of the will be able to drink alcohol there when it reopens after renovations this fall, but they'll need a movie ticket to do it.

The on Monday approved a Class C liquor license for the 37-year-old art theater's new ownership, with the caveat that only movie patrons will be served. The provision can be removed by the township after six months of operations. The 'probationary' clause was the final issue needed to resolve months of negotiations over site plans, zoning variances and business operations. And it nearly stopped the entire project from moving forward.

With Trustee David Buckley absent, the six-member board deadlocked on two different proposals to approve the license, essentially killing the effort. The board approved it 5-1 on the third vote after Township Attorney Bill Hampton and the attorney for new owner Jon Goldstein met outside the board chambers to discuss the contract provision. Building on a revised liquor license policy passed earlier in the meeting, Township Treasurer Dan Devine cast the lone opposing vote because he said that once granted, a liquor license can be difficult to revoke.

Earlier in the meeting, he and other board members raised concerns about the potential for the Maple to become a place for people to congregate and drink, and that the township would have few options to stop it. Goldstein, a township resident , said he was concerned about imposing a ticket requirement on patrons. 

Under his business plan — which includes a cafe and open lobby area where people can meet and socialize — Goldstein said there could be situations where people may want to share a drink or have one with dessert, but not necessarily see a film.

"It's a limitation on customers, and that's where I'm feeling very uncomfortable," he said. "I understand what the township is trying to avoid, but I don't believe we'll create the issues that the township considers could happen."

He argued that the bar is less than 1 percent of the total theater-dedicated space and that it is a small, but crucial part of the business model he envisions to keep the Maple viable for years to come. Goldstein said he plans to close the theater next month for extensive renovations.

The contract with Goldstein also imposes a two-drink maximum; prohibits alcohol on the patio and in theaters with G-rated movies, and limits sales until after 3 p.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends.

Township taxpayer and was the only member of the public to speak on the topic and voiced her opposition to both the measure and how the township assesses liquor license applications.

Bagger Dave's Coming This Fall

Prior to the Maple Theater debate, the board unanimously approved a Class C liquor license to Bagger Dave's Burger Tavern. The restaurant will occupy 6,100 square feet where and shoe store were toward the center of Bloomfield Plaza, located at the southwest corner of Telegraph and Maple Roads. Renovations will be ongoing all summer with late September as the target opening. Once open, the restaurant will have 172 seats, including 10 at a bar located toward the back of the establishment. It will also have retractable windows facing the parking lot that are screened on an interior patio.

Township officials said it was a suitable alternative to the outdoor seating that was initially proposed, which would have created a traffic-safety issue and required a special use permit. Resident Lisa Long was the only member of the public to address the board on the issue and encouraged trustees to reject the proposal.

"We have enough liquor in the community, and a that intersection, it adds nothing but risk," she said. "It will attract all young people that will be able to drink, and that's a bad combination."

Michael Ansley, president of the franchise's parent company, Diversified Restaurant Holdings, said the bar will have eight taps that serve Michigan-crafted beers and that a wine list and some liquor will also be available. He said he anticipated alcohol to make up just about 15 percent of their overall business, which is geared toward serving families at both lunch and dinner.

Township Treasurer Dan Devine said he understood and shared many of Long's concerns, but that township has to find a balance between maintaining Bloomfield's "bedroom-community" feel while providing the amenities that residents want close by.

The restaurant will be the chain's seventh in Michigan, but the only one with enough space to house a 'test' kitchen, where employees will be trained and new products will be developed for customers to try, Ansley said. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

R Gibson June 26, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I am becoming increasingly concerned about that whole intersection. Kroger is holding the lease on their old site to keep any competition out. I understand that another chain approached the owner to reuse that area of the mall and Kroger would not release the lease. I think it was Whole Foods. Furthermore, accross the street we have the old Barns and Noble bookseller, that mall is always been kind of odd, and now back accross the street, the Crust went outta business. Meanwhile farther up telegraph we got the disaster at Square Lake and Telegraph with all the miss mash of malls and stores up there. Personally, I wish the township would get together with the owners of all these strip malls and come up with some type of coherent theme or something to keep it all looking nice. Look at what Bloomfield did with the developed at the SE Corner of LL and WW. That place looks great. We need to get these landlords to start updating and cleaning up the store fronts and modernizing. These areas are supposed to be our downtowns and they just look like a bunch of weird buildings with no thought put into it that have not changed since the 1950s. .
Isaac Barr MD June 26, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Goldstien was rewarded for massive financial support of Bloomfield Hills new millage and specifically One Bloomfield United which got massive financial support from other interesant groups.
Marcia Robovitsky June 26, 2012 at 05:24 PM
The township board recently changed an ordinance to allow a cinema to apply for a liquor license permit. http://www.bloomfieldtwp.org/Government/LegalNotices.htm Not only did the Maple Theater apply for a Class C liquor license, but also for an "entertainment" permit. What other kinds of "entertainment" will happen at the cinema? What other uses will happen at the cinema? How many cinemas have coffee shops, baked goods, etc. with outdoor seating and a gathering place for NON-ticket holders during hours when no movies are being shown? What the owners were asking for here was more than a cinema business. I'm surprised they can have the coffee as Starbucks probably has a non-compete clause in their lease at this shopping center. When the township officials were first approached by the new owners/lease there was so much talk about saving the Maple Theater and it's format and history. The "older" patron who would like a drink with the movie. I hope after six months..the township still only permits alcohol purchases to TICKET HOLDERS. Don't make this building more than a movie theater. We have enough "cafes, coffee shops and meeting places" in the township. The change in ordinance was for alcohol for a cinema....nothing else. Last night's meeting lasted until 10 pm. When the archived video is put online, you can view on your computer at this web address: http://www.bloomfieldtwp.org/Services/cable/Videos/BoardOfTrusteeMeetings.htm
M. Belden June 26, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Dr. Barr- You have been warned several times to stop making baseless statements in this venue. Please find something constructive to do with your time, and move on. You're poisoning your own life and those of others with this kind of activity.
Marcia Robovitsky June 26, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Here is a related issue in this shopping center and attached to the Maple Theater. The vacant BANK building attached to the Maple Theater via a recently enclosed breezeway being used by the theater is being requested by the shopping center owners to go from O-1 office....to B-2 commercial. The public hearing is July 16 @ 7pm. There is no announced potential renter for this building. I say, NO ZONING CHANGE. B-2 zoning would allow fast food restaurants and also restaurants, or cinemas with alcohol among many other uses. Are the owners/lease of the Maple Theater with this recently awarded liquor license have plans to knock out a wall and occupy this attached bank space also? Just asking. This vacant bank building is adjacent to residential with an agreement from 1962 to protect the residential from commercial businesses. For those near Tim Horton's on Square Lake and Woodward.....that fast food restaurant went in next to residential PLACED in the P-1 parking lot ...part of a B-2 zone area. There is an awful lot of P-1 adjacent to residential in this same shopping center....the SW corner of Telegraph and Maple. Pay attention people to what is going on in your community. Attend the public hearing on July 16 at 7 pm at township hall.


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