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Liquor license being sought at newly annexed Flowery Branch business
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A liquor license is being sought by the owner of a newly annexed strip shopping center in Flowery Branch. Mohammed Arif is seeking the license for Express Food Mart, which is part of the Pure Gas center at 6168 Gaines Ferry Road.

Flowery Branch City Council

What: Proposed package store license at 6168 Gaines Ferry Road

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: City Hall, 5517 Main St.

A liquor license is being sought by the owner of a newly annexed strip shopping center in Flowery Branch.

Mohammed Arif is seeking the license for Express Food Mart, which is part of the Pure Gas center at 6168 Gaines Ferry Road.

The decades-old center, which also features a pizza shop and hair salon and has two vacant shops, is across from Hall County Fire Station 8.

“This suite has never had an alcoholic beverage license,” states a city document concerning Arif’s request.

Arif “does own other businesses with alcoholic beverage licenses in Buford and Gillsville and has recently been approved by (Flowery Branch City) Council for a beer and wine license at the … gas station.”

Earlier this year, the council approved annexing the property and rezoning it from Hall County suburban shopping to Flowery Branch highway business. At the time, Arif said he was seeking the actions as part of hopes to connect to city sewer.

“Mr. Arif has put a considerable amount of money into the property and the annexation and would ask for a small one-time relief from the full package store fee,” the city document says.

The package store license request goes before the council at its Thursday meeting.

The South Hall city has two package stores — one on Hog Mountain Road and the other on McEver Road.

In 2014, when the alcoholic beverage code was updated, the city removed the limit on the number of package stores allowed in the city, according to the document.

“Staff is currently considering restricting package stores to certain zoning districts, but at this time, there is no restriction,” according to the document.

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