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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Raniero's Pizzeria Applies For Alcohol License

Michael Raniero (front right) is joined by friends in the "rec room" space of his restaurant, Raniero's in the Fort Thomas Plaza. FTM file.  
A family-owned pizza restaurant that opened in March of this year in the Fort Thomas Plaza at 90 Alexandria Pike is pivoting their business plan to include billiards amid some residents' concerns.

Business partners Michael Raniero and Adam Lyle own Raniero's and applied for a retail malt beverage drink license from the city of Fort Thomas for what they are calling a "rec room" which  adjoins their existing space.

Raniero said he'll have four pool tables as well as arcade games and will serve beer and wine with his license. The dining room, which has eight booths and three tables for dine-in customers is separated from rec room with a door and adds around 2,200 square feet from the original space they rented in March.

Whether it's a rec room or pool hall may be a moot point. A "pool hall" is a business named in the planning and zoning ordinances for the city of Fort Thomas as a permitted use in a general commercial zone.

RELATED: New Pizza Place Opens in Fort Thomas Plaza

A public hearing was held on Monday for the license where city Alcoholic Beverage Control Administrator Jennifer Machesney read a petition from eight residents on Overlook Drive, who opposed Raniero's obtaining the license.

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The petition read, "We adamantly oppose any alcohol or beer sales in the pool hall in Fort Thomas Plaza. We are concerned about the type of clientele that this will bring to our community."

Lyle said that he had to collect signatures from property owners in Fort Thomas as part of their ABC application and also went to Overlook Drive.

"All ten of the houses that we spoke to were eager to sign our petition to have alcohol. I did not see that issue," he said.

There was no action taken later that day when city council met at 7:00 p.m. Raniero said he expects to be able to serve alcohol as early as Friday, December 23.

Lyle said that the alcohol license is needed to compete with surrounding restaurants that offer alcohol.

"We're not really going for a "pool hall" vibe. We are still a family pizza place. If we get more people in there, we may pull more pool tables out to put more video games in. Whatever the customers are looking for, that's where we are headed," said Lyle. "We just wanted to give the opportunity for people of age to have alcoholic beverages when they sit down for dinner."

Raniero said that the beer license is necessary for his business to survive.

"We've been needing this to survive. If we didn't get the malt liquor license, Raniero's might not make it in the city of Fort Thomas. Pizza goes with beer," he said.

The application for the license is now in the hands of the city, who'll submit an approval or denial to the state's licensing agency.

FTM file. 

The dining room is separated by a door leading into the rec room. FTM file. 

The rec room. FTM file. 


  1. Am I the only one right now thinking of "Music Man" and these famous lyrics?

    Trouble, Oh we go trouble
    Right here in River City!
    With a capital "T"
    And that rhymes with "P"
    And that stands for POOL.

    We've surely got trouble
    Right here in River City. Right here.
    Gotta figure out a way
    To keep the young ones moral after school.

  2. There was trouble with them in Highland Heights a few years ago with the ABC.

    1. The ABC was there on numerous occasions due to the Ol Mighty "Dunkers" putting in calls but of course ABC never found anything... Until they came in on College Night and also couldn't find any underage drinking but claimed they "over served" a 40 yr old woman! Get your shit together Ken!