¡Salud! Beer May Soon Return to Zaragoza

zaragozaDaniel Maurer Zaragoza.

Zaragoza’s nearly year-long quest for a beer and wine license is entering the final stretch.

Ruben Martinez, one of the deli’s owners, confirmed that the family-owned business will soon go before the State Liquor Authority after filing missing paperwork with Community Board 3.

“It was my fault. I had other things on my mind and I didn’t sign it off,” Mr. Martinez said of the documents that agreed to a series of community board stipulations. “It was just dropped off a week later and it wasn’t on time.”

For Zaragoza, the dry spell began last July when its alcohol license expired. The family failed to renew it and, a month later, they were charged for selling beer with an expired license. (It didn’t help that they sold the alcohol to a minor, either).

At a community board meeting this May, the S.L.A. committee recommended approval of Zaragoza’s request for a beer and wine license, but the full board ultimately shot it down because the paperwork wasn’t handed in on time. The committee seemed sympathetic to the business, citing its 11-year tenure on Avenue A near 13th Street, as well as the fact that other bars on the block had been the subject of many more complaints.

Last month, the board voted in favor of the license in light of the paperwork turned in by Mr. Martinez.

Soon — a date has not been set yet — Mr. Martinez will go before the Liquor Authority, which will make the ultimate decision on the store’s right to sell beer. Generally, beer and wine licenses are approved by the S.L.A.

The little bodega has survived in spite of the lack of Negra Modelos, perhaps because, as reporter Stephen Brown tweeted back in May, their tamales are “still off the charts.”

“We’re surviving,” Mr. Martinez said. “Beer helps a lot, but to be honest our number-one thing is food and that’s what we’ve been maintaining, so we concentrate on that.”