Post by dane101 on 6/7/2013 2:16pm
Members present: Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Mike Verveer, Lisa Subeck, Sam Stevenson, Ann Zambie, Michael Donnelly.
Because both Chair David Hart and Vice Chair Tom Landgraf had excused absences this week, the committee had to quickly name Sam Stevenson the ALRC Chair Pro Tem.
Separation of Licenses
The committee picked several licenses to give a closer look Monday night before recommending renewals to the full Common Council Tuesday night.
Plan B - 924 Williamson St.
Plan B co-owner Rico Sabatini came before the committee to unveil the details of an agreement with the neighbors finalized earlier that day. The agreement says the neighborhood will raise $6,000 for the roof insulation project, though Plan B will help out with promotion, marketing and social media targeting for the fundraising itself. Sabatini has also offered to paint a mural on the side of the building to make it more appealing in the neighborhood. Plan B will still be responsible for the remainder of the amount and will continue to work with the neighborhood on issues that may arise.
Post by dane101 on 5/24/2013 9:00am
Despite a rather lengthy agenda, the meeting fell just short of its scheduled three-hour run time. The majority of the meeting was taken up by two issues: approval of Chi Asian Fusion (following in the wake of T. Sushi’s closing) and a discussion on the noise issues at Plan B nightclub. There were a few other issues pulled off the consent agenda, however.
Members Present: Ald. Mike Verveer, Sam Stevenson, Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Ald. Lisa Subeck, Tom Landgraf, Ann Zambie, David Hart. Michael Donnelly was excused.
Cafe Costa Rica: 1133 Williamson St.
A nearby resident brought up concerns with approving the restaurant’s Change of Licensed Premise to allow a sidewalk cafe, saying that because the restaurant exists in a residential area after recent zoning, he would have appreciated if the business had talked to the neighborhood association beforehand. He asked the committee to possibly tell the restaurant to come back after talking with the neighborhood association. Failing that, he wanted to make sure that the outdoor patio didn’t allow smoking. Alder Marsha Rummel did admit that they didn’t hold a neighborhood meeting on the restaurant and apologized for that. However, she did support their application.
Post by Christie Taylor on 4/26/2013 11:18am
The bulk of Wednesday's Alcohol License Review Committee meeting was devoted to a sole item: the fate of would-be Atwood brewpub Next Door Brewing, which ultimately passed. The committee also passed a slew of new license applications on the consent agenda, and the rest were met with little concern.
Next Door Brewing, 2439 Atwood Ave.
Next Door Brewing, a proposed nanobrewery and pub slated for an empty electronics storefront on Atwood, has so far been met with strong opposition, partly in the wake of the noisy history of the Africana restaurant-turned-nightclub in the same location, with e-mails to the committee before Wednesday's meetings requesting bans on music, outdoor seating, soundproofing, odor minimizing fans, and earlier closing hours.
Post by Fareed Guyot on 4/22/2013 12:30pm
This post originally ran on the Willy Street Blog.
The Marquette Neighborhood Association voted this week to ask a City of Madison Committee to review the alcohol license of Plan B nightclub at 924 Williamson Street. In a letter approved by the MNA Board on Thursday, April 18, the association wants the City’s Alcohol Licensing Review Committee (ALRC) to separate Plan B’s license for closer scrutiny when the ALRC makes its yearly license renewals in June.
The battle over noise at Plan B has pitted a nightclub which appears to be in compliance with current noise ordinances against neighbors who nightly feel vibrations from the bass portion of the music being played at the club. The owners of Plan B say they have made good faith efforts and spent money to ameliorate the noise issues. The neighbors say that Plan B has only taken minimal steps to solve the problem and refuse to tackle the main culprit: a roof that is susceptible to vibration and is likely transmitting it toward the neighborhood one block away.
Post by Christie Taylor on 3/22/2013 1:00pm
Wednesday's Alcohol License Review Committee was one of both expected and unexpected controversies. The committee kicked off revocation proceedings against sushi restaurant T Sushi and sports bar My Buddies, denied Soga's request for Karaoke, and, after great debate, referred until next time a new liquor license for a catering company that would fill the East side space formerly occupied by Talulah.
Members in attendance: Lisa Subeck, Mike Verveer, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Thomas Landgraf, Michael Donnelly, Ann Zambie, and Sam Stevenson.
The committee unanimously approved several changes to the city's alcohol licensing ordinance. The Madison Common Council will have to approve the changes before they take effect.
- The first amendment would change the penalty for revocation of a license, so the city would no longer be required to wait a year before issuing a new license to the same premise--one reason the committee has been hesitant to begin revocation proceedings in the past.
- The second change would add a new requirement that license holders notify the city when they change their business name, with a $25 fee attached.
- The final two changes would apply to 21+ and visual and performing arts entertainment licenses, requiring applicants to wait a year before applying again, if denied a license the first time.
The change, if approved, would apply retroactively to applicants who have recently had entertainment licenses denied, Zilavy said.
"This encourages establishments to stick to their original business plan," Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Zilavy said.
Post by Christie Taylor on 2/14/2013 3:00pm
The agenda for Wednesday night’s Alcohol License Review Committee was filled with big items, none of which went quickly: while many items were passed easily on the consent agenda, committee members spent the meeting’s first forty minutes on a potentially controversial plan for a volleyball court at the Essen Haus. Significant chunks of time also went to a check-in on Plan B’s noise complaint woes and on the operating status of now-closed T Sushi’s operating status--the last one with a surprise ending. In more routine news, Cooper’s Tavern will expand to its second floor, One Barrel Brewing now has a 21+ entertainment license, and Point Cinema plans to begin serving beer and liquor as part of a multi-million-dollar upgrade to its entire facility.
T Sushi closed, in uncertain legal straits
Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Zilavy said she had originally called for a discussion of the State Street sushi restaurant T Sushi--shuttered, according to Alcohol Policy Coordinator Mark Woulf, now for more than a month--because she had received information from the state Department of Revenue that the business might be operating illegally as a different entity, one other than owner Teddy Stevens’ sole proprietorship. Zilavy said her office had not been able to contact Stevens, whose last appearance before the committee was in October of 2012, when his application to expand to the second floor of 301 State St. was referred, then later placed on file without prejudice.
A man named Jason Richardson appeared in Stevens’ place, saying he was an independent restaurant consultant who had worked with Stevens, and that he was working to acquire power of attorney so he could reopen the restaurant under different management. Richardson said because Stevens was not communicating about what was going on with the restaurant, Richardson had shut the restaurant down, and fired the entire management team, with the intent of reopening under new management as soon as March 8. The restaurant's website is also currently down.
Post by Cynthia Schuster on 1/17/2013 5:56pm
The city's Alcohol License Review Committee met Wednesday for the first time in the new year.
On file or referred:
The committee was expected to follow up on a matter pertaining to T Sushi's (301 State Street) liquor license, but the item was referred to the Feb. 13 ALRC meeting.
The Change of Licensed Premise application for Punta Cana Restaurant (2705 W. Beltline Hwy) was placed on file without prejudice.
The 21+ Entertainment License application for Soga (508 State Street) was placed on file without prejudice.
Bonfyre American Grille - 2601 W. Beltline Hwy
The managing staff of Bonfyre American Grille wish to expand their licensed premise by revamping part of its establishment. Currently, this space operates as The Beacon Cafe, which is only open in the mornings and serves items such as coffee and sweet rolls. It hasn't proved to be a profitable venture, they say, so they hope to give the space a facelift and re-open it as The Beacon Lounge. Bonfyre owner Sean Baxter, at the meeting Wednesday with general manager Patrick Qinlan, said the lounge would be a restaurant predominantly serving food and liquor, and it would be open for lunch. There's also an atrium space available for private events, which he's recently discovered isn't licensed for serving alcohol. Under their proposal, Bonfyre's outdoor capacity would not change but the indoor capacity would increase slightly.
Post by Christie Taylor on 12/20/2012 3:10pm
Facing the onset of a looming winter storm, the Alcohol License Review Committee moved its Dec. 20 meeting an hour early in the hope of finishing before the snow started falling. Even after approving more than 11 items without discussion, the meeting lasted three hours, but managed to beat the snow anyway. While a revocation action for the now-closed Logan’s was on the agenda, the committee moved to not resolve those proceedings until July, to allow the possibility that a new tenant might begin operation within the next 12 months. In addition, the committee approved licenses several new establishments, but denied an entertainment license to Soga, saying the restaurant posed too strong a risk of turning into a nightclub-like setting.
Changes of Agent and Corporate Control:
The committee unanimously approved four changes of agent and two changes of corporate control without comment. They are:
The Radisson Hotel, 517 Grand Canyon Dr.
Speedway, 4902 Verona Rd.
Longhorn Steakhouse, 418 S. Gammon Rd.
Copps Food Center, 1312 S. Park St.
Hyatt Place Madison, 333 W. Washington Ave.
Bonfyre, 2601 W. Beltline Hwy.
Change of Licensed Premise:
Segredo, 624 University Ave.
Since July, nightclub Segredo was required to submit weekly incident reports to the police as a condition of their license renewal, a response to a handgun incident that occurred at the club in April. On Wednesday night, the committee unanimously voted to rescind the requirement, without discussion. MPD Captain Sue Williams said the department had been impressed with changes the bar had made in staffing and safety practices. "We fully support the change of licensed premise to relieve Segredo of their license conditions," she said. “They are doing a fine job.”
21+ entertainment license:
Soga, 508 State St.
One of the most contentious items of the night was Asian fusian restaurant Soga’s request for a 21+ entertainment license. Speaking through an interpreter, owner Jing Jiang said he wanted the license in order to have a DJ and karaoke on weekends, as well as play a variety of east Asian music styles, including Korean pop and Chinese and Japanese traditional music. “It would be the first true saki house in the Madison area,” he said. In addition to adding a DJ, Jiang, who said he currently gets only 5 percent of his revenue from alcohol sales, said he plans to raise that to the full 20 percent his license allows.
The committee expressed extreme reservations about the request, focusing quickly on the security plan, which included three personnel in radio communication. Soga is currently licensed only on the condition that it operates as a restaurant, and MPD Central District Captain Carl Gloede, by e-mail, said such a personnel plan seemed too extensive for a restaurant.
Post by Christie Taylor on 11/27/2012 3:50pm
The Alcohol License Review Committee met Monday, where only a few items actually made it to a vote, but in the process, the troubled Orpheum acquired a new license, the committee gave up on mediating noise complaints at Whiskey Jack’s Saloon, and a longtime manager at the decades-old Main Street Depot received permission to inherit the business’ license from his employers.
The meeting had been rescheduled from Wednesday, Nov. 21, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
New license and entertainment license
Orpheum Theater, 216 State Street
The foreclosed Orpheum Theater advanced closer to opening its doors in time for a planned “small” 800 to 1,000-person gathering on New Year’s Eve, a goal Frank Productions co-owner Fred Frank revealed Monday night in addition to concerts already booked for February 2013.
Frank Productions, which manages the Halloween FreakFest event and books concerts at several Madison venues, is managing the building for Monona State Bank in the months before the property goes up for auction. Frank appeared Monday night to request a license to serve alcohol, which he said would occur only in conjunction with booked concerts.
“We are only going to operate this as a theater,” Frank said. “We're only going to open the doors when there's a show. When the show's over, we're going to close the doors."
Post by Christie Taylor on 10/18/2012 10:00am
Wednesday’s meeting of the Alcohol License Review Committee went faster than expected, with two potentially contentious items--a major expansion for T Sushi, and a revocation of license for Logan’s Madtown--deferred to later dates. At the same time, approval of a new coffee/wine/beer establishment under Metropolitan Place was lengthy and controversial, with a number of concerns raised about the completeness of the menu and ability of the establishment to function as a restaurant.
Brasserie V - 1923 Monroe
The Belgian-themed restaurant and bar received consent agenda approval to expand into the empty space next door at 1921 Monroe St., previously home of Premier Couture. Brasserie V owner Matthew Van Nest requested and received a capacity expansion from 46 to 99, allowing for a second bar and 43 seats in the new space, but no other aspects of the restaurant will change.
The Fountain - 122 State
The committee approved The Fountain’s requested expansion via consent agenda, paving the way for the restaurant to take over the interior hallway between its State Street frontage and the bakery next door. Restaurant capacity was not increased, and remains at 275 indoors and 36 outdoor.