Nashville’s fifth and final riverfront district liquor license will go to Brozinni Pizzeria — if the state alcoholic beverage commission agrees.
Owner Ryan Seward petitioned the Nashville Redevelopment Commission for the license so that he could sell beer and wine with sit-down meals at his restaurant.
The town redevelopment commission voted unanimously to recommend Seward for the license, and so did the Nashville Town Council, but the final decision will be made by the state board. And because the restaurant is across Main Street from the Nashville United Methodist Church, it’s not certain that it will be approved.
State law requires an establishment that serves alcohol to be at least 250 feet from a church. The distance between Brozinni’s and the church is about 180 feet, he told the church board, in a letter asking for their support or at least “no objection.”
“We aren’t looking for a beer scene,” Seward wrote in his application. “We have a great family-style restaurant and we are trying to keep it that way.”
The church signed off on the request, he told the RDC.
Seward said he believes adding beer and wine to the menu would help him retain customers and grow the business. RDC members said they had seen proof of that in other businesses.
Riverfront licenses are annual and subject to review. Growing the business and the number of employees is one of the redevelopment commission’s goals in allowing riverfront liquor licenses, RDC President Dan Snow said.
Before he opened Brozinni’s two years ago, Seward, as owner of the Nashville Pizza King, tried to get a riverfront license for the Pizza King, which was in Salt Creek Plaza next door to St. Matthew’s Anglican Church. It was through that process of denial at the state level that he learned getting a letter from the church would go a long way, he said.
Another restaurant owner was in the audience to learn about the riverfront license process.
RDC members said they would discuss at their Oct. 3 meeting whether or not to increase the number of riverfront district licenses, which the town can set at any number. These licenses are for a particular owner and at a particular location, and can allow the serving of beer, wine, liquor or all three.