The following article by Nick Halter was published in the Southwest Journal on May 13, 2013:
Park Watch Comment: It is interesting to note that five individuals spoke at the Public Hearing; of the five, only one was in support of the wine and beer license–and that individual was an employee of Bread & Pickle. Of the individuals who submitted written comments earlier, the tally was six against and two for. Park Watch spoke in opposition and that statement was posted on Park Watch on April 29.
BREAD & PICKLE LIKELY GETTING ALCOHOL LICENSE
It shouldn’t be long until Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet begins serving beer and wine.
The city’s Regulatory Energy and Environment Committee on April 29 voted to give the restaurant a license to sell alcohol at its location near the park’s band shell. A full City Council approval will likely come on May 10.
Owner Kim Bartmann has been working with city and Minneapolis Park Board staff for over a year, she said, and hopes to soon offer a half-dozen tap beers and a few wine options.
The city’s vote came after the Minneapolis Park Board had debated Bartmann’s plan during two meetings in April. Bartmann plans to have seating for 133 patrons and, with the city’s urging, will set up a perimeter with planters.
Any park user can enter the seating area, but alcohol cannot leave the boundaries. Alcohol will not be allowed in the band shell’s seating area.
The Park Board narrowly signed off on Bartmann’s plans, voting 5 to 4 to side with the restaurateur who is also behind Bryant Lake Bowl, Barbette and Pat’s Tap. Voting against the final patio plan were commissioners Bob Fine, Anita Tabb, Liz Wielinski and Annie Young.
A few neighbors showed up a public hearing at City Hall, arguing that Lake Harriet is different than Calhoun and Minnehaha Park, where alcohol is sold at Tin Fish and Sea Salt Eatery. They said Lake Harriet is more of a family setting and further, the area will become too congested with tables and planters.
“My concern is this area is going to be taken over by a drinking crowd,” said Bob Carney Jr., an East Harriet resident.
City Council members, in voting for the beer and wine license, said they would go along with the Park Board’s decision.
“This is their decision to make and we are not in a position to be overriding them on a close vote,” said Lisa Goodman (Ward 7). “That seems a little political to me.”