A controversial effort in the Anchorage Assembly to block a liquor license transfer failed during Tuesday night’s Assembly meeting. The move means a long-delayed new establishment can finally open downtown.
For months, business owner Robert Alexander has laid out plans for the LED-Ultra Lounge and Grill, a combination bar and restaurant offering live music and dancing in the 6th Avenue building that once housed Platinum Jaxx. Alexander was glad the Assembly voted 9-to-2 in his favor, but disappointed with the unusual amount scrutiny his business record and personal character came under in the process.
“I don’t think anybody should go through this. I understand the concerns that some of the people that protested have, but I think it should have been done differently,” Alexander said after the vote. “I mean I feel like I just ran for mayor.”
The effort to deny the transfer of the license came from Assembly member Patrick Flynn, who represents the downtown district that has born much of the brunt in recent years dealing with bad operators and violence connected to late night bar break.
Since December, Assembly members have debated whether it was fair to weigh Alexander’s past business record in determining whether or not to protest a liquor licence transfer, a process the body typically handles with a rubber stamp.
Many members of the public spoke on Alexander’s behalf, and applauded after the Assembly’s vote.
The establishment’s tentative opening is during the first weekend in March.