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Business to prove: Madrid Tapas fighting to keep its liquor license, reopening expected.

The restaurant has been closed for months, owner cites loss and homelessness
Madrid Tapas Restaurant and Wine Bar
Posted at 9:10 PM, Jun 25, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — A local business owner is fighting to keep her liquor license as the city considers revoking it.

  • City council will determine if Madrid Tapas will keep its liquor license during Tuesday's city council meeting.
  • The restaurant has been closed for almost a year citing loss, and homelessness the owner experienced. At one point, the owner's family lived at the restaurant, but on the upstairs level.
  • The city says the restaurant needed to address inspection needs before being issued the license
  • Owner Amanda Hunt says the restaurant has now passed inspection and is ready to reopen soon.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

"Sometimes you stumble, sometimes you fail, but you gotta fail forward," Amanda Hunt, Owner of Madrid Tapas Restaurant and Wine Bar, said.

For Hunt, she says, moving forward is all that's on her mind.

"But, I won't lie, every turn this last year seemed like when we get one step forward, we'd get two steps behind," Hunt said.

She's had the business for 11 years, but it's been closed for almost a year after Hunt says she dealt with loss and a period of homelessness.

The closure has violated city policy, which says a business with a liquor license must not go 60 days without using it or risk losing it.

Video shows assistant city attorney, Lindsay Mather, addressing city council on May 21 about the matter.

She said the restaurant was granted a license for the 2023-24 license year, but it was never issued due to outstanding inspection needs.

Mather said Hunt had already missed an extended deadline to address the inspection issues and receive the license.

"What ended up happening was we ended up moving our personal belongings upstairs," Hunt said.

Living in the restaurant's upper storage level, the city told her, was not habitable space.

Hunt says her family lived there briefly, but she's since come into compliance, saying she found a new home in January 2024.

She said cleared out her things and met other inspection requirements Monday such as updating fire extinguishers.

In May, Hunt also addressed the council, sharing personal challenges and why she wants to revive the business.

"I think Madrid (Tapas) adds to Green Bay especially the downtown," Hunt told the council.

Now, it's up to the city to decide if she should keep it.

The topic is listed on Tuesday's city council agenda, and Hunt remains optimistic about securing her license.

"Life is for the living and all have to do is do your best and try and if you fail, get up, dust your knees, and attempt again," Hunt said.

Hunt says if she isn't granted the license, she will instead go for a beer and wine license.

Either way she plans on reopening her restaurant soon.