Thirsty for a liquor license? Make your bid in Morristown, Oct. 11

You wouldn’t know it if you visited downtown on a Saturday night, but liquor licenses are hard to come by in Morristown.

Which explains why they sell for north of $500,000 when owners decide to part with them.

But you might catch a bargain on Oct. 11, 2013.

The state is auctioning the liquor license of Calaloo Inc.–the dormant bar at 190 South St. operated for years as the Calaloo Café and last known as Yo & Papa–for unpaid taxes.

Bidding starts at $100,000, next door at town hall at 10:30 am.

The liquor license for this property--former home of the Calaloo Cafe and Yo & Papa--is being auctioned by the state for unpaid taxes. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The liquor license for this property–former home of the Calaloo Cafe and Yo & Papa–is being auctioned by the state for unpaid taxes. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Town records list the owner as 190 South Street Really Holdings.  Royal Tax Lien Services LLC has held a lien on the property since 2009 for unpaid municipal taxes and water, sewer and electric bills, now totaling more than $188,000, according to town records.

Yo & Papa has been dark since 2011; workmen were seen sprucing up the exterior last year.

A state formula limits how many liquor licenses towns may approve. Demand for these licenses in Morristown is so intense that it has sparked some novel maneuvers.

To induce high-end restaurateur Chris Cannon to come to the Vail Mansion, the town arranged for him to obtain a state “concessionaire’s permit” to serve alcohol at his proposed Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen.

The town will retain a stake in that venture and Chris will pay the town $500,000 over 10 years.

Yo & Papa gets a facelift: Painters at work Friday at the dormant bar on South Street. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Yo & Papa got some attention in June 2012. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

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