The Oak needs support to earn liquor license

This site on Beacon Avenue is being remodeled into The Oak. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
The much-talked-about Oak restaurant, expected to open on Beacon Avenue this spring, has a problem. Owners Lisa Jack and Mat Brooke have received a letter from the state Liquor Control Board which states that they face possible denial of their liquor license because the Board has received 14 protest letters but only 5 letters of support for the business.

They must respond by March 26 with a statement outlining why the Oak should still be approved for a liquor license, and letters from the community will be considered as well.

Brooke and Jack attended the North Beacon Hill Council meeting last week and spoke about the project. They have taken steps to reduce neighborhood concerns, including locating the 21+ bar portion in the center of the building, to limit exterior noise; no door access to the alley, except for emergency exits; no smoking allowed in the back of the building; and no karaoke or live music. There will be all-ages kid-friendly dining space. The menu is planned to be “family-friendly” comfort food such as burgers,salads, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato fries, with lunch and dinner seven days a week until 10 p.m. as well as weekend brunch. Ingredients will be locally-sourced.

Brooke and Jack will not be absentee owners; at the meeting, they explained that they will be living at the site themselves, and have a direct stake in the quality of the neighborhood.

After the NBHC discussion, several neighbors who live or work adjacent to the Oak site and had attended the meeting to express their concerns about a possible “tavern” moving in indicated that their concerns had been addressed and they seemed to have a much more positive feeling about the new restaurant.

It is unclear whether the protest letters the Liquor Board has received were sent before the NBHC meeting. When the news came out on the Beacon Hill mailing list last night about the Oak’s difficulty with the Board, the reaction on the list was one of surprise, with several subscribers expressing their intent to write in support of the business. In the previous discussion on the Beacon Hill Blog, the comments were overwhelmingly in favor of the Oak.

If you would like to express your opinion on the Oak, send a (snail mail) letter to the Liquor Control Board at:

Washington State Liquor Control Board
Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 43098
Olympia, WA 98504-3098

Here’s what has to go in the letter:

Referencing The Oak
License #408904
3019 Beacon Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144-5853

83 thoughts on “The Oak needs support to earn liquor license”

  1. Francie and I mailed our letter yesterday. Agree with Jennifer. It only took 5 min.

    Greg and Francie,

    18th Ave S

  2. My letter is signed sealed and pinned to our mail box awaiting our mailman, Obie, tomorrow. I took my own email that I had sent and spliced it together with Amy’s letter she posted…

    To whom it may concern,

    I am writing to you today regarding The Oak’s application for a state liquor license.
    (Reference: The Oak, License #408904, 3019 Beacon Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98144-5853)
    I am a Beacon Hill resident and wanted to write to voice my support for the Mighty Oak’s application for a liquor license.  As residents we’ve been eagerly awaiting new and upcoming businesses, restaurants and otherwise and are very excited to have a new place to meet with neighbors, enjoy brunch, dinner or a drink out, and to add diversity to the hill’s growing (slowly but still growing) business district.  I think it’s essential for us to grow and add more business as people begin moving here because of light rail proximity as well as the affordability of the area.
    I strongly believe that The Oak will only add to the quality of life in Beacon Hill as well as add to and compliment our growing business sector. The owners of the establishment have addressed the concerns about potential noise, litter, crowding, etc at a community meeting with many of those concerned residents present. The owners seemed to resolve the worries that were expressed and have put in place plans that will address these issues before they arise and keep them from happening in the future. In fact there have been more than 80 comments regarding The Oak left by visitors of the Beacon Hill Blog. Exactly two of these expressed any concern.
    The overwhelming opinion is that we, the people of Beacon Hill, welcome The Oak with open arms.
    Thank you for considering my comments.  We’re happy to support The Might Oak lic# 408904.

    Beacon Hill Resident, Alex

  3. I dropped my letter of support into the mailbox today.
    Thank you to the blog for keeping us up to date on this situation!

  4. When this call to action was posted … there were only 5 letters of recommendation for The Oak in Olympia vs 14 against. Thanks to folks who posted here, the listserv and on facebook, only after they mailed their letters … I can tell you that (at the very least) 81 letters of recommendation are on their way.

    We can rest assured that the liquor board will hear from Beacon Hill residents that a majority of us support this new business.

    See you at The Oak.

  5. Just finished typing up my letter of support! Need my live-in boyfriend to sign, and my stamps are at home, so it will go out tomorrow morning. You guys are all so friggin’ awesome. I’m so proud to be a Beacon Hiller!

  6. I would love to hear back from the Oak folks on how many letters WSLCB says they ended up with in support. I am assuming they will be approved with the overwhelming number of letters in support.

  7. my letter in support of the Oak was mailed yesterday.
    Thanks for getting the word out on this and for the sample posts of letters sent–sure made it easy.

  8. My wife and I mailed our letters of support yesterday. Add 2 more to the Yay! column. I am looking forward to The Oak. Welcome to the neighborhood.

  9. I mailed mine too! I’ve never sent any kind of supportive letter for anything in my life, that I can remember. So this is very important! Can’t wait for the Oak to open!

  10. My letter is complete and I urge the reader to write his own right now if he has not yet. Matt and Lisa are super rad generous good folks and they deserve success without arbitrary road blocks. The Redwood is a place of face to face community- something we all need in this digital age- and I’m sure the Oak will be just the same under their kind watch. It will surely have more of a positive impact on the neighborhood, friends coming together sharing ideas or laughs through the long dark wet of winter and after the long heat of a summer day (yes, those do exist). People need to loosen up a little sometimes.

  11. Over 100 letters!!!! And that’s only the count of those who posted or got in touch to say they’d mailed one. What an amazing response from a great group of neighbors.

    See you at The Oak!

    I’ll stop posting totals now.

  12. I even got a paper response back from WSLCB on Friday. THe letter let me know they recieved my letter and would take it into consideration.

  13. Does anyone know what the outcome of this was? I haven’t seen a follow-up story saying whether or not the Oak’s license application was approved. And if so, when can we expect some delicious beers to start pouring on Beacon Hill?

  14. Any new info on the Oak? Seems like it might be nice for the prospective owners to update all the folks who took the time out to write a letter, which would easily be done here?

  15. Last time I talked to them they were still waiting for the liquor license decision. I have been watching the new licenses, so as soon as the announcement is made by the LCB you’ll see it here. It seems to be taking a long time for the LCB to make the decision, but I imagine it will come soon.

    I’ve gone by the Oak and it is newly painted and spruced up on the outside, and work has been done on the inside.

    I am not sure if they are following these comments or not — they are probably pretty busy.

  16. Speaking of new places, the Tippe and Drague looks a lot closer to opening. They’ve taken the covering off the windows so you can go by and peek at what they are up to. The drywalling there is done so now they are painting and doing other stuff. Cross your fingers that both the Oak and the T&D will open for summer!

  17. Hello! We really appreciate all the people who have sent the letters of positive support, I believe it really will make a difference. We still have not recieved a liquor license and assure you we will let Wendi know the moment we do! We cant wait to open our doors for business!
    The Folks at Oak

  18. It seems to be taking an extra long time. I’m seeing businesses that applied after you did, who got their licenses already. Maybe Beacon Hill swamped them with letters.

  19. Hi! I Just wanted to update you all that finally, things are looking good! We are not 100 percent sure, but the last couple of phone calls to our liquor rep have been very positive! We are working on the final touches and then waiting on a laundry list of final inspections as you can imagine. We can’t wait to open our doors! Thankyou all for such overwhelming & tremendous support!!

  20. I am still watching for the license approval and it hasn’t come through yet. Almost two months ago I posted that it seemed to be taking a really long time. Wow.

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