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Popular East Atlanta eatery regains its liquor license

Cantina La Casita issued temporary permit

Last week, it looked as if it was going to be a dry summer for East Atlanta watering hole Cantina La Casita. The departure of one of the restaurant's partners left the taqueria and tequila bar without a liquor license.

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Micki Silvestros, who co-owns La Casita with Pete Madincea, says the restaurant stopped pouring June 5, a few days after general manager Alan Raines quit.

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"It has absolutely nothing to do with anything improper that we did wrong," Silvestros says. In Georgia, a liquor license is issued to an individual rather than a business, and La Casita's liquor license was in Raines's name.

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"We reached an inconsistency in our corporate style," says Raines, who also co-owned East Atlanta's most upscale — and now defunct — restaurant, Iris. He says he pulled La Casita's liquor license to avoid "having ultimate liability for something that I don't have anything to do with."

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But Silvestros, who had been working to get the license reissued in her name, recently got some good news. On June 12, the state issued her a temporary liquor license, allowing La Casita to pour again. Previously, she anticipated that the earliest the restaurant would be able to serve was late July.

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Silvestros has plans to open at least two more restaurants in East Atlanta Village, which would make her the neighborhood's premier restaurateur. Honey's Kitchen, a breakfast and lunch cafe, likely will open in late June or early July on the corner of Glenwood and Flat Shoals avenues. In September, Silvestros plans to open Latitude 33, a steak and seafood restaurant, in the former Good News Cafe spot on Glenwood.

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As for La Casita, Silvestros says that what would have been a major setback is now "just a bump in the road." The restaurant will host a customer appreciation day Mon., June 19, with food and drink specials, including $2.50 margaritas and $2 drafts.




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