CAPE MAY — City Council on Monday unanimously denied an appeal that would have allowed Stewart’s Root Beer on the Washington Street Mall to remain open.
Stewart’s had its mercantile license revoked earlier this summer after three visits by Code Enforcement Officer John Queenan found the restaurant was operating with more seats than allowed. Stewart’s remained open pending its appeal to council, which was denied in a 5-0 vote after an administrative hearing Monday afternoon.
Mayor Ed Mahaney said council found that the mercantile license holder, Stewart’s of Cape May LLC, made misrepresentations on its license application and violated local zoning ordinances by operating with more than the allowed 48 seats. Queenan counted 113 seats at visits June 18 and July 13 and 88 seats Aug. 14, Mahaney said.
“The appeal has been denied. As of now, they legally can’t operate,” Mahaney said.
Stewart’s attorney William Kaufmann could not be reached for comment.
Mahaney said the company could appeal council’s decision to Superior Court or could apply to the city for additional seats.
The restaurant opened earlier this year. City Construction Official William Callahan issued a certificate of occupancy May 11 that allowed a maximum of 48 seats.
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