Despite an evening power outage on Jan. 28 that took out lights all over Bethel, the city council powered through its meeting agenda, which included the renewal and transfer of Fili’s Pizza’s liquor license.
The council began the meeting by congratulating the Bethel Warriors wrestling team for winning the state championship, their seventh in 10 years. They named Darren Lieb "Bethel Coach of the Decade" for his team’s success.
The council chose to waive its opportunity to protest a liquor license renewal and ownership transfer for Fili’s Pizza’s from current owner Mefail Saliu to Marina Inc. Council member Fred Watson favored waiting the full 60-day protest period to listen to comments from Bethel residents. However, council member Cecilia "Cece" Franko said that she didn't feel the need to wait.
“They’re a business that contributes to the community,” Franko said. “They didn’t have any significant police or EMS calls; they pay their taxes on time.”
Franko also said there was no issue with Marina Inc., the company purchasing Fili’s Pizza. Todd Perez, part owner at Marina, formerly managed Caribou Traders Liquor Store, and has also purchased Q2 Grocery. Perez said that operations would not change at Fili’s, except for the addition of new food items.
Council voted 6-1 to waive the 60-day protest period. Watson cast the single vote opposing the waiver.