Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A bar in front of me, frontal lobotomies, et al.

Tuesday there was "late breaking" news in the Courier-Journal (4:55 p.m.), and while I've been privately monitoring this controversy for a while, it still seems somehow strange to me that it made the newspaper.

Is there a political angle to all this that I'm missing?

Even Deeper Throat -- are you somewhere in the room?

New Albany business clears hurdle toward liquor license

By unanimous vote, the Floyd County Alcohol Beverage Board today recommended that a liquor license be granted to B&B Bar and Grill at 211 E. Main St. in New Albany.

Lonnie Gibson, a member of the Indiana State Excise Police and one of the local board’s four members, said the recommendation is subject to review and approval by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

Three residents spoke in opposition, including Jack Messer, a member of the New Albany City Council and a city police officer. Messer said that a city ordinance to promote restaurants as part of downtown revitalization was not intended to produce “a drinking establishment on every corner.” B&B, which is not yet open, is next door to Connor’s, a restaurant that also serves alcohol.

Carl Holliday and Steve Goodman, who own the property where both restaurants are located, and Robert and Brenda Gresham, owners of B&B, said there were no grounds for denying the license. The Greshams said they had spent more than $10,000 on their kitchen, indicating they intended to sell food and not just alcoholic drinks.

Gibson said reasons for denial, which include substantial community opposition and questions about the reputation of the business owners, didn’t exist in this case.


G Coyle said...

I thought NA already had "drinking establishments on every corner"?

Christopher D said...

On a weekend night, Conner's can be packed, every table on the patio full, the bar side full, and most of the tables on the grill side full.
If we can bring more business and more people downtown, then do it.
People are going to drink (unfortunately some will drink too much and drive), but why should we keep sending our local money to Jeffersonville and Louisville?
And if they have spent $10k on their kitchen, well its another place to get a bit to eat that is NOT a dime a dozen restaurant franchise.
But it does on some level stink to sit back and see the "success" that conners has had and decide to slap basically the same thing right next door.

Iamhoosier said...

Side by side works good for a pub crawl.

Christopher D said...

true....we are starting to get enough downtown for a good belly crawl from state street to bank street between market and main!

Ceece said...

I sent the following letter to the Tribune after reading the story, btw, isn't this Price's district? Where is he in all of this?

After reading the article about B&B coming to downtown, I’m still amazed that so many people poo-poo business’s trying to survive there.

Not only is the assertion that the competition is bad ridiculous and unfounded, but the discrimination about alleged clientele type is outright insulting.

After spending time in Europe over the summer, it is very clear that you can have a street full of bars and cafĂ©’s and it doesn’t hurt anyone’s business, if anything it opens up the area to a wider base. That’s what downtown New Albany needs right now, a wider audience coming to check us out.

Perhaps if Mr. Messer is so concerned about all the “drinking and driving” he could volunteer to patrol the downtown and surrounding streets, making it more inviting and safer for local citizens to walk to and from the downtown establishments.

Meatbe said...

I admittedly don't know what the debate here is all about, but I too am inclined to say the more the merrier.

Just think of all of the thriving establishments and the bustling activity in the Highlands. People like to go places where there are a number of choices, and where they can hit more than one venue. Assuming that this will be a reasonably classy place, I am all for it.

I also think that it could help existing establishments such as Conner's Place and Bistro New Albany. Those are great places, and they have nothing to fear from other nice places coming in. The area is on its way to becoming a destination, a cool place to be. I'm all for that, too.