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Koi Sushi exterior

Koi Sushi on State Street is in the old American Apparel location at the intersection with Gilman Street.

Madison’s Alcohol License Review Committee voted Wednesday to not renew a liquor license for a sushi restaurant on State Street.

At a quasi-judicial meeting, the committee unanimously recommended that Koi Sushi, 502 State St., should not have its beer and wine license renewed, based on illegal remodeling work the business had done.

“Building code violations are significant issues,” said chairman Tom Landgraf. “The significance of those led to the committee’s decision to not renew the license.”

In May, a city inspector found that the restaurant and its owner, Xi Wang, had opened up a wall to expand the dining area into an adjacent retail space without getting permits or submitting plans. The wall has since been closed.

“There’s been a violation of the wall. The restaurant did that. They shouldn’t do that, and they’re sorry about it,” said David Grams, an attorney for Koi Sushi.

Jim Sjolander, a city building inspector, said that although Koi Sushi cut into a structural wall, he did not believe it created an immediate hazard for occupants and guests.

“If it would have been a larger opening or a different style of wall, I would have shut the restaurant down immediately,” he said.

The City Council will vote on the non-renewal recommendation on Tuesday.

  • In other action, the committee voted to renew a license for a Far East Side restaurant.

Last month, the committee decided to pursue the non-renewal process against North of the Bayou, 502 Atlas Ave., after owner Dale Beck initially failed to show up to a special renewal meeting for his liquor license.

But on Wednesday, the committee decided to back off non-renewal action after it cleared up issues regarding whether alcohol was being served at newly constructed volleyball courts and why the owner did not show up to the previous meeting.

Matthew Fleming, an attorney for Beck, said Beck did not intend to skip the meeting but that a notice to attend did not show up at the correct address. Signs have also been placed to notify customers they can’t drink at the volleyball courts until the restaurant gets its liquor-serving premises expanded.

“There’s been a violation of the wall. The restaurant did that. They shouldn’t do that, and they’re sorry about it.” David Grams, attorney for Koi Sushi

Logan Wroge has been a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal since 2015.