Mad Jack’s liquor license means no Hobo Dough

Adam Zobel

Adam Zobel

Mad Jack’s Food Court likely will no longer be accepting Hobo Dough once it begins to serve alcohol next week.

Even though Mad Jack’s was one of the original off-campus merchants participating in the Hobo Dough program, the pending move by SDSU to remove Mad Jack’s from the program is consistent with the university’s intention of ensuring that Hobo Dough can not be used to purchase alcohol.

The move by Mad Jack’s to serve alcohol is partially due to the increasing number of Brookings restaurants that have malt beverage or liquor operating agreements.

According to Tim Gilbert, Card Services/Hobo Dough Coordinator for SDSU, Mad Jack’s officials informed him in early September that they had obtained a malt beverage license for the Sixth Street business and were planning to start selling alcohol. They were promptly informed that SDSU would no longer allow the merchant to accept Hobo Dough once they started serving alcohol.

“As soon as they (Mad Jack’s) start selling alcohol, I will have to pull the (Hobo Dough) machine,” Gilbert said.

There is precedent for SDSU to remove an off-campus merchant from the Hobo Dough program. Godfather’s Pizza was an early off-campus participant in the program. They were disallowed from accepting Hobo Dough once they started selling alcoholic beverages a few years ago.

Hobo Dough cannot be used to obtain cash, alcohol or tobacco. While the university’s contract with area merchants prohibits accepting Hobo Dough for alcohol and tobacco transactions, it does not prohibit a business from selling alcohol or tobacco on the premises.

For instance, Hobo Dough merchants Bozied Amoco and Bozied Texaco gas stations do not sell any alcoholic beverages; however, they do sell tobacco products.

“The alcohol is a black-and-white issue. If you sell it, we won’t allow you to accept Hobo Dough,” Gilbert said.

According to Todd Willman, who owns and manages the off-campus eatery with his wife Shelly, Mad Jack’s is planning to begin selling malt liquor beverages on September 30. He also noted that they obtained a malt beverage license in order to be more competitive with other restaurants in Brookings.

Willman said, “We just want to cater to the customers who would want an adult beverage with their meal.”

According to Brookings City Manager Mike Williams, the city council approved a malt beverage operating agreement for Mad Jack’s on August 26.

Williams commented that Hobo Dough was mentioned during the city council meeting when Mad Jack’s applied for their malt beverage license; they understood that they would probably lose their contract to accept Hobo Dough.

A malt beverage license, as opposed to a liquor license, allows an establishment to serve less-potent alcoholic drinks such as beer and flavored malt beverages. Williams noted that while the city of Brookings can issue an unlimited number of malt beverage operating agreements, the number of liquor operating agreements is limited by state law based on population.

With only eleven off-campus Hobo Dough merchants, the loss of Mad Jack’s won’t be welcome to those involved in the program.

“I would be quite disappointed to lose Mad Jack’s as an off-campus merchant,” Gilbert said.

#1.888016:977342025.jpg:madjack.jpg:Todd and Shelly Willman operate Mad Jack?s Food Court, a Brookings eatery. Now that the business sells alcoholic beverages, its participation in the Hobo Dough program is in question.:Mike Gussias