If people are concerned that *auctioning* 1600 liquor licenses won’t raise enough revenue, or that the licenses will sell for too little, there’s an easy solution: don’t auction them.
Sell them at a flat rate, and don’t cap the number of licenses. You can raise even more money doing the same thing for tavern liquor licenses. Remove the cap, and charge a flat fee per license.
The obvious bonus for consumers would be a more competitive restaurant and bar market, with higher quality entrants outcompeting mediocre ones.