Newport's Opinion Brewing liquor license in jeopardy

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The Newport City Council has decided enough is enough, and issued an ultimatum with Opinion Brewing Co. owners Derrick and Autumn Lehrke.

If building inspectors and fire marshals do not sign off on improvements by June 30 — when their current liquor license expires — the city will not renew their license.

City officials say the Lehrkes still have electrical inspections that need to be completed, building code violations to correct, and fire code violations to correct, including installing a fire alarm system. Building code and inspection issues have been ongoing since at least September 2016.

Mayor Dan Lund said the renewal of the liquor license will be "on the satisfaction of four conditions," including pulling and completing the electrical permit, keeping property taxes current, receive a certificate of occupancy, and block off the bowling alley are of the building until a building permit is approved.

City Attorney Fritz Knaak said the solution is "unusual, but it is appropriate."

Derrick and Autumn Lehrke — a former Cottage Grove City Council member and Washington County commissioner, respectively — bought Red Rock Saloon in 2014 and opened Opinion Brewing.