Rome’s Alcohol Control Commission unanimously voted to approve a new classification in its pouring laws this week. The new “convention center” classification will now allow for the Forum to serve alcohol without meeting the 50-50 food to drink ratio requirement required by other establishments.
The amendment to the city’s alcohol ordinance is expected to be presented to the Rome City Commission next week. A public hearing and vote would be scheduled for the elected board’s June 13 meeting.
If approved by the city, the Forum could start serving alcohol by June 20th.
The new management group Safari is expected to take over operations at the Forum on July 1.
A new makerover is also about to be underway at the Forum as well. Plans are to paint the arena ceiling black with new chandeliers installed so that during certain events they could turn the arena into a ballroom.
Plans are also to install video screens, improve the small ballroom with newer carpet and raised ceilings.
Most of the upgrades will be funded with $1.4 million SPLOST funds that was approved in 2013.
The Rome Alcohol Control Commission will be asked to grant a special permit for pouring license at the Forum Civic Center at their upcoming meeting.
The request comes from management company, Safari Hospitality, who is expected to take over operations of the venue sometime this summer. According to Mike Bankston, Vice-President of Operations for Safari Hospitality and Floyd County Manger Jamie McCord, ‘alcohol sales will be a key component to the success of future operations’ at the Forum.
Up to this point, if alcohol was sold at the Forum, it was though another location in Rome obtaining a “Temporary Off-Premise Alcohol Catering Permit”.
The issue comes with the food/drink ratio law that the city implements. McCord and Bankston said that they feel that the Forum would not be able to meet the requirement. As a result they will appear before the commission and ask for a change to the ordinance.
The group is asking for the ACC to create a new category called “Convention Center” that would allow for the Forum to bypass any food/drink ratio requirements. The new ordinance amendment would specify that the convention center, like private clubs, would not be subject to the requirement.
The meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 16