Mason City council to discuss liquor license denial for Northside Liquors

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City tonight will consider denying a liquor license for a northside business due to ongoing complaints.

Northside Liquor has been doing business at 1303 North Federal since 2008. The council will consider a new Class E retail liquor license to be issued to Muhammad Akbar for Northside Liquor with a tentative effective date of December 1st. Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says his department has been working with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division to investigate and follow-up on 17 complaints they’ve received since March 2021 about the sale of tobacco, alcohol and CBD products at the business.

During current liquor license holder Asim Saeed’s tenure at the business, Northside Liquor was fined $500 in June 2022 for first-offense sales of alcohol to a minor. A current pending action awaits administrative approval for the most recent bootlegging investigation. Brinkley says his department has two pending violations of selling tobacco to a minor and one of selling alcohol to a minor.

Brinkley’s recommendation for denial includes Northside Liquor needing to be held accountable for their continued disregard for the laws and regulations of selling alcohol and tobacco. Brinkley also says while Akbar has no criminal history, he argues that he is part of the business culture that chooses to not follow the law as he has previously been cited for selling tobacco to minors.

City Administrator Aaron Burnett in a separate memo to the council agrees with Brinkley’s recommendation for denial.

The City Council has a workshop session starting at 6 o’clock followed by their regular business meeting at 7 o’clock in the Mason City Room of the Public Library.