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Oro Valley restaurant reacts to liquor license suspension

Posted at 9:38 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 20:06:31-04

ORO VALLEY, Ariz. -- An Oro Valley restaurant had their liquor license taken away after the state liquor board said it violated the governor's executive order.

The owner of Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler in Oro Valley said he does not think his liquor license should have been taken away because no one was inside of his restaurant.

“We were represented as if we were letting people dine inside, but we weren’t. They were outside. We weren’t letting anyone inside the building,” explained CJ Everson.

It all started April 17 when Evenson was first notified his restaurant would be losing its ability to serve alcohol.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control explained it was suspended because Evenson failed to follow Governor Ducey's executive order on multiple occasions, but Evenson doesn't think he broke the rules.

“These tables are six feet a part so if a family came in and there was two or three people. We didn’t break that up, no," he explained.

Evenson doesn't deny he let people in his restaurant. But does say he doesn't think what he did was wrong.

“I understand the action that needed to take place, but we’re just trying to survive. We’re still waiting on those government loans, those [Small Business Association] loans.”

He said he applied for both the disaster loan and the payroll protection program for his employees and those applications are still under review.

Liquor department officials said they are working with Chuy's ownership on a resolution.

Everson said he heard from the board Friday morning.

“They offered to give me my liquor license back with the consent of some type of a form, but with that being said. I would still have a hearing for my liquor license to be revoked or either way,” he explained.

The restaurant is still open for take out orders but it can't serve alcohol.