Eatery’s liquor hearing tentatively set for March


A requested hearing from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control for a potential downtown establishment has been delayed.

The hearing for Xue Gong Chen, a co-owner of the Flying Pig Ale House, 12 S. Sandusky St., may take place in March, according to James Talbert, an attorney for the eatery.

Delaware City Council requested the hearing on whether to approve a permit for the business. The state agency will make the final decision.

Chen applied in late September to transfer a D5 permit from Bosco Cafe LLC, 80 S. Sixth St., in Columbus to sell alcohol for consumption at its establishment. There were no available D5 permits in Delaware.

The hearing was recommended by Delaware police because of a misrepresentation in Chen’s application for the permit. Chen was issued two Social Security numbers in 1998 with little documentation as to why, but does not violate federal laws unless he used both numbers consistently since 1998.

Delaware police Detective David McQuigg established that Chen was using an incorrect Social Security number in his application. Talbert provided McQuigg another number, which brought up a 2012 felony drug conviction in Franklin County.

Chen pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and was placed on probation for nearly two years, according to court documents, and has complied with the terms and, therefore, discharged on March 15, 2015.

Delaware police have said it would be reasonable to have Liquor Control hear these facts and have the applicant provide an explanation.

Talbert has said there was no intention to hide the conviction and that Chen used the correct Social Security number on his application the first time, based on conversations with the Social Security Administration.

Chen and co-owners TJ Wellman and Amanda Sykes purchased 12 S. Sandusky St. in January 2016. Chen reportedly plan to invest $150,000 in the project, creating 10 jobs. Construction was expected to be finished this year year for the casual, small-plate eatery.

Chen owns three other businesses, including Buckeye Fusion of Lancaster, Poke Doke in Columbus and Poke Bros at Polaris Fashion Place mall.

Wellman is a co-owner of Typhoon Asian Fusion Bistro, 10 N. Sandusky St., with Xue Qin Chen, Xue Gong Chen’s brother, as the business’ liquor permit holder.

By Brandon Klein

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Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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