By LINDA G. RASTELLI
In what could be the start of a long process, Best Liquors’ owner Sunny Sharma has begun appealing his case to the states Alcoholic Beverage Control division in an effort to block the borough of Red Bank from permanently yanking his liquor license.
Last night, in a session that took less than 10 minutes, the council unanimously passed two resolutions: one to revoke the store’s retail distribution license, and the second, to deny renewal when its two-year term ends at midnight tomorrow.
Last week, the council found Sharma guilty of seven charges, five of which alleged sales to underaged persons.
Those sales were the tipping point that prompted Councilwoman Grace Cangemi to be part of the unanimous revocation vote, she said last night.
“It was too many sales to minors,” she said.
The resolution to revoke takes effect at 11:59p Saturday, when Best’s 2006 license expires.
The store will remain open while the appeal, to be sent to the office of administrative law, is decided, said attorney John F. Vassallo Jr., standing in for his partner, Samual “Skip” Reale, who has handled the matter at previous hearings. Reale has previously said that could take up to a year.
Vassallo is a former director of the ABC.
Only a few residents, including John and Krishna Tyler of Leighton Avenue, were present for the denouement of a legal matter than began last fall.
Krishna Tyler said she opposes the presence of any liquor stores in her residential neighborhood, even those that did not incur noise and littering complaints from neighbors, as Best Liquors has.