College Vs. Beer

The University of Central Oklahoma has bought a building in the Bricktown district of Oklahoma City and unintentionally become a party pooper.

The university bought the building in the entertainment district so it would have a presence next to its Academy of Contemporary Music.

Problem is, Oklahoma liquor licenses are prohibited within 300 feet of a school. That means that upon arrival of the school, no new liquor licenses can be issued.

School officials say the party crashing is unintentional.

“We are in Bricktown to be close to everything that is happening in the music scene,” said Steve Kreidler, executive VP at the university. “And it happens in restaurants and bars. We wanted to put musicians and students as close to that scene as possible. We are absolutely in favor of establishments being able to locate close to our facilities.”

The law prohibits issuing licenses to new bars or clubs that earn more than 50 percent of sales from liquor if they are within 300 yards.

University officials hope to change the law and grant the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission discretion to consider liquor licenses when schools locate in an established entertainment district.

The school failed to win approval of a bill this year but a UCO spokesman said he hopes it will pass if presented early in the next legislative session.

The law apparently does not affect established restaurants in the Bricktown district.