Downtown Business Owner Fights Back After Losing Liquor License
By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 26, 2023 3:22 pm
NEVADA – After losing its liquor license, a downtown business is fighting back. They say the city of Reno is unfairly going after them.
The owner of Wrightway Market, Ophinder Dhillon, says that the city’s decision is a gut punch to his way of making a living.
His family thinks that they will lose about $1,500 a month in income without a liquor license and more empty store shelves.
The owner’s son, Sim Dhillon, said, “It’s clear that sales have dropped a lot.”
The fact that Wrightway Market’s liquor license won’t be renewed is part of a bigger plan to stop the high number of crimes that happen on Evans Avenue between Fourth Street and the baseball stadium.
In 2021, there were more than 700 calls for help to the Reno Police Department, and the City of Reno has had enough.
At a recent council meeting, the city’s frustrations were summed up by Deputy Police Chief Oliver Miller:
Miller told the Council that bad people know where they are welcome. “And Wrightway Market is happy to have them.”
But the Dhillon family says they are not to blame for all the problems on this block.
For example, Ophinder Dhillon shot a video on his cell phone of Reno police responding to a fight late at night, across the street from the market. Dhillon says it has nothing to do with his business or his customers, but that doesn’t matter.
“They called 911-1 from Wrightway Market and said they were calling from there, so this is a perfect example.”
We are getting blamed for somebody else’s problems.”
Chase McMullen’s family has owned the Wrightway building for more than ten years. He wants to know who is in charge of all those calls for help.
He said, “Those calls were made outside the building, on the sidewalks, about things that happened outside the business.” “They don’t come from within the company.”
Jenny Brekhus, a member of the Reno City Council, also asked who is to blame for the problems on that block.
“Is that their problem, or is it a problem with the downtown population that we can see at their place?” Brekhus asked.
Since the case is on appeal, it will be up to a judge to decide how far a business needs to go to be a good neighbor and keep a good reputation.
The Dhillons say that all they want to do is take care of their customers. The same way they have for years.
“This is basically how we make a living,” said Sim Dhillon. “You know, this is where our dad raised us.”
Since the city of Reno is appealing the decision, no one would go on camera for this story. Wrightway Market and Lakemill Maxi Mart have both filed appeals after their liquor licenses were taken away.
A judge will hear these appeals, but no date has been set yet.
Credits: My News 4