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Fili's Pizza Applies For Bethel's Final Liquor Store License

Dean Swope

The state Alcohol Beverage Control Board has received another application for a package liquor store in Bethel.

Mefail Saliu, owner of Fili’s Pizza, the first restaurant to serve alcohol in Bethel in decades, is applying for the last of three package liquor store licenses available in Bethel.? 

“I thought, one liquor store is not enough in this town for over 6,000 people plus the villages around," said Saliu. He says that the store would likely go where the restaurant is now, and the pizzeria would find a new location.

Bethel Spirits, owned by Bethel Native Corporation, closed after being open 30 days, which is the state's minimum required time of being open in order to keep the license. That second license is currently unused.

The Alaska Commercial Company, which obtained Bethel’s first package store license, made roughly $2.6 million as of October, and paid about a 1/4 million dollars in taxes to the city.  

Saliu is not the only one applying for the remaining license. Cezary Maczynski, a local mechanic and body shop owner, also wants to operate a liquor store.

The city of Bethel has not reviewed either application, and the ABC board is just beginning to process them.