Mitchell Barman, owner of The Scoop of Fenton, LLC, has requested to transfer ownership of an escrowed Class C and SDM liquor license with Sunday sales for his family run ice cream business in downtown Fenton.
The Scoop of Fenton, which opened in June 2020, is at 111 W. Shiawassee Ave. The ice cream parlor offers ice cream, ice cream drinks and coffee drinks. They’re open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and anticipate family friendly events, such as magicians or clowns.
Police Chief Jason Slater investigated Barman’s background and found no history of any criminal convictions or driving related infractions that would impede a successful transfer. During its Zoom meeting Monday, March 8, Fenton City Council voted 5-2 in favor of supporting the transfer of ownership on the liquor license. Mayor Pro Tem Pat Lockwood and Councilman Scott Grossmeyer voted against the transfer.
Since a liquor license already exists at this address, but in escrow, approval of the local unit of government is not required on this transfer, however, the MLCC will consider the local opinions.
There will be no packaged alcohol sales of beer or wine. Customers will only have the option to add alcohol to their ice cream or coffee drink. Any item that includes alcohol must be sealed in a container approved by the MLCC if it is intended to be consumed elsewhere. Any item combined with alcohol intended for consumption on the licensed premises must be consumed on the premises, either inside or within the designated outdoor service area.
During the Monday meeting, Councilman Sean Sage asked what would prevent customers from walking around town with liquor in their ice cream. He wondered if it would be a “recipe for disaster.”
Slater said the owner and employees would have to put a process in place to prevent people from consuming their alcoholic purchase beyond The Scoop property.
Councilwoman Tracy Bottecelli said she had concerns over the ages of the employees since ice cream shops typically hire young people. The attorney for Barman told council members that to serve alcohol, an employee must be at least 18 years old. A manager at least 21 years old would be onsite.
Councilman Brad Jacob said he did not see any problems with The Scoop’s plan.
Lockwood asked Barman why he decided to include alcohol with his ice cream and coffee drinks. He said he felt that The Scoop should offer the choice and that there are other shops like this that offer alcohol.
Councilman Scott Grossmeyer asked about customers leaving the premises after having liquor put in their ice cream or coffee purchase. The business would be required to have a process in place, well marked boundaries and identifiable containers.
Mike Hart, Fenton assistant city manager and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) director, said the business would be required to follow MLCC laws and could face penalties if there are any violations of people consuming their alcoholic purchase off-site or selling to minors. He added that the police department has the authority to visit the business to determine if there are any violations with its liquor license.