Harry O’s gets new owner, liquor license
July 21, 2007
State alcohol regulators issued Harry O’s a new liquor license this week and Main Street’s largest nightclub is again open for business.
The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s decision allowed the club to host Friday night’s concert by Bryon Friedman and Wisebird, and will enable the club to host its monthly Myspace party on Saturday night.
The club is reopening with a new owner, as part of its agreement with the UDABC, which had closed the club’s doors for more than a week.
Last week, Earl Dorius, UDABC deputy director of licensing and compliance, reported Harry O’s former owner Greg Galloway lost his license because of his involvement in the management of Salt Lake’s Club Vortex. Club Vortex’s liquor license had been revoked in April, due to its poor standing with the Utah Tax Commission, The Utah Department of Workforce Services and the Utah Labor Commission. Dorius said the UDABC determined Galloway’s association with that club precluded him from renewing Harry O’s liquor license for the next three years.
As a result of the license revocation, concerts at Harry O’s were moved. The Metal Gods, booked to play at the club on July 6, for example, performed at the Star Bar instead.
Dorius said his department scheduled a licensing hearing earlier this month, on July 19, to give Harry O’s the opportunity to find a new holder for a liquor license. The new license issued last Thursday belongs to Justin Ely.
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Dustin Esson, Harry O’s spokesman said this week that unlike Galloway, Ely does not have ties to other clubs in Salt Lake and that Harry O’s will be the first club he has owned.
Esson shared that new ownership isn’t the only change being made to the club. Harry O’s is also altering its basement venue, formerly home to restaurant Buena Vita, and currently used only for Chef Dance, a festival for chefs that held during the Sundance Film Festival in January.
"We’re breaking through a brick wall and solid ground to expand the square footage," Esson said. "It’s a major renovation."
Esson added that there are "plans in the works" for the improved space downstairs and that those plans would be revealed later.