Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Liquor Licentiousness

Liquor Licentiousness

Poor Alderman Craig Schmid (D-20th ward) can't get a break from the Riverfront Times.

Just over five years ago, the RFT called him the city's best alderman.

But now, last week's RFT had two articles mentioning him in a critical light: the one, a satire piece about the car stereo restriction legislation. And the other, is a more serious piece about the ward's liquor license moratorium.

That article has prompted a lively debate on the Marine Villa Neighborhood Yahoo! Group about the merits of new bars and restaurants, as well as complaints about The Brick of St. Louis, a 3:00 am bar located on the edge of the industrial area at 3550 S Broadway at President.

Anyway, I'm waiting to see if Craig weighs in on the discussion on the Marine Villa e-list.

Meanwhile, a couple days ago the Post-Dispatch had an article entitled "Has the bar scene on Main Street gotten out of control?" about Main Street in St Charles.

Also, it's not as if Craig Schmid is the only alderman who proposed and enacted a liquor license moratorium in his ward. Similar restrictions are also in place in ward 1, ward 2, ward 3, ward 4, ward 10, ward 18, ward 22, ward 24, and ward 27.

This page lists all those ordinances and a few related ones.

In other words, most of the Northside and a chunk of the city south of Forest Park, along with the 20th ward, is subject to new liquor license moratoria.


susan said...

I like Craig, I really do. He does alot of good things for the area. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to be a vocal opponent on this moratorium. I feel like Marine Villa and ward 20 are ready for considerable new investment, but his moratorium is hurting us. I don't think he is going to bend on this, and it will probably end up hurting him in the next election.

Lily Bleu said...

I think Craig has done his share of good for the community, BUT this moratorium on liquor licensure is plain ridiculous and will seriously prevent commerce entering into Benton Park West and Marine Villa. We need to get some swanky martini bars and other type bars in the area, bring this area up some.

Anonymous said...

In all due respect, I don't think that BPW and Marine Villa need martini bars or to be brought "up some." The moratorium is silly but the area is home to some of the finest Mexican food in the Midwest and a great Latino commercial district. Don't those businesses "bring this area up some"?

Given the demographics of these areas, I hardly think that martini bars would have great appeal within the neighborhood. What about shoe stores, newsstands, laundromats, more restaurants, clothing stores and other businesses with broad appeal? Many residents in this area don't have $9 to spend on a martini.

Anonymous said...

Ward 10 is in an odd grouping for those wards with moratoria, especially since its alderman is a bar owner (like the 9th, which isn't among those wards).

I suspect that the 10th ward moratorium was enacted when this was a Southeast City ward. As such, Craig would then only be trying to re-enact a moratorium he lost with re-districting (the 20th ward now taking the place of the former 10th).

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

I honestly think it is more important that the Mexican joints on Cherokee get easier access to liquor licenses. Especially the grocery stores. We need to make sure those places stay in business. Encourage a Mexican nightclub in the area to serve the community. Focus on the immediate core and growth. This social fabric is absolutely necessary for this essential community to grow. And then we can focus on the diversity of the business- martini bar or whatever. But I would be a criminal in the 20th if I were to open another business. This is ridiculous. It is time to open up.


susan said...

Craig has finally responded. He's offered to talk about the moratorium at the next neighborhood meeting. I'm glad you set that listserve up Joe. Do you know who is responsible for the Marine Villa website now? I thought Craig said you were still updating it.