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Neighborhood concerned over new liquor license

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 21:19:01-04
A midtown neighborhood has concerns over a business applying for a liquor license. The problem, according to neighborhood representatives, they are already over-run with places that sell alcohol and it's leading to other issues.
The issue of liquor licenses is something the Palo Verde neighborhood has dealt with for years. That's because according to the neighborhood president, within one square mile of the neighborhood there are 75 places that sell alcohol. 
The Palo Verde neighborhood is bordered by Speedway to the south, Grant to the north, Alvernon to the east and Country Club to the west.
The newest application comes from a convenience store at Pima and Alvernon called "A-Market."
Just down the street on Grant, a bar that previously had similar issues with the neighborhood found a way to get along. 
When Ricardo Skyy Garcia opened his bar The Mint four years ago, he says his relationship with the Palo Verde Neighborhood Association started out pretty rocky. But he was determined to turn it around. 
"We started giving out scholarships at Catalina Magnet High School for athlete of the year, teacher of the year and all along we wanted to do things in our community," said Garcia. "We felt like not only are we bar owners, we're vested in this community, we want to see good things happen with the community."
It took a couple of years but now the bar and the neighborhood are partners and the bar even holds an annual benefit to raise money for Palo Verde projects. 
The business in question now, "A-Market" is only three blocks away from Catalina Magnet High School. That's part of what's causing concern for local leaders and neighborhood representatives. 
"That area of midtown has a real history of drug problems and alcohol problems and crime problems and so when this guy just kind of rolls in, decides hes going to do his own thing, that's why the red flags go up," said Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik.
Kozachik says the owner of "A-Market" hasn't made any effort to engage in the neighborhood and listen to concerns.
9OYS tried reaching the owner of "A-Market" for comment but his doors were locked and we couldn't see anyone inside the store. 
"We've had conversations with the guy and he just blows us off," said Kozachik. "And so if he's just going to be indifferent to the concerns, then the answer is we're going to reject the application and let him go fight it out at the state level." 
Kozachik says the city will be discussing the store's liquor license application during the June 7 city council meeting.