Minutes of Bread and Pickle Liquor License Hearing

The following are the minutes of the 4/29/13 Bread & Pickle Public Hearing at City Hall. There were five citizens offering testimony–four against and one for.


Regular Meeting

Standing Committee of the Minneapolis City Council

Regulatory, Energy & Environment Committee

April 29, 2013

Present: Committee Members Glidden, Gordon, Goodman, Samuels, Schiff, Hofstede

7. Bread & Pickle, 4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway: Application for On-Sale Wine Class E with Strong Beer License.

Grant Wilson, Manager, Licenses and Consumer Services, reported on the license application. This was a request for a Charter On-Sale Wine Class E with Strong Beer License for the pavilion next to the Lake Harriet Band Shell on Park Board property. The interior of the pavilion has seating for 25 persons at tables and outside seating for 108 persons. The proposed hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. The design of the patio area was approved by the Park Board. Because this is a Charter Wine establishment, patrons will be required to order food before alcoholic beverages can be served and the business will be subject to a 70-30 ratio of food-to-alcohol sales. This establishment will be similar to two other restaurants: Sea Salt at Minnehaha Falls Park and Tin Fish at Lake Calhoun. Thirty-eight notices were sent to residents and property owners within 600 feet of the establishment as well as the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council and the Linden Hills Business Association. Eight responses were received: six opposed and two in support. The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council was in support of the application. The application meets the requirements of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances and staff recommended approval at this time subject to the public hearing.

The Committee discussed/questioned the following:

–The plan before the Committee was approved by the Park Board last week.

–To meet the City’s requirements, the plan must be compact and contiguous and there must be an approved Management Plan to control the space.

–In all applications of this type on park land, the City requires the businesses to allow individuals who are not purchasing anything to be free to use the table space since it is public land.

–Customers will not be able to walk outside the seating area with alcohol.

–There will be signage stating “No Alcohol Beyond This Point” with benches/planters delineating the seating area.

–The outside seating area does not include the Band Shell area.

–The benches and planters must be maintained to Park Board standards.

Glidden opened the public hearing. The Committee received the following comments:

a) Robert S. Carney, 4232 Colfax Avenue South, spoke in opposition to the application. The park system allows no advertising. Families with children use this area, and he was concerned that the area would be taken over by a drinking crowd. The area is very crowded in the summer when there are concerts, and the proposal will discourage people from walking by. He distributed a handout showing another location where the restaurant could be located instead. The character of the park system should not be changed.

b) Isaac Townsend, 4953 Thomas Avenue South, spoke in opposition to the application. He was a patron of Bread and Pickle and loved the food. Concerts take place every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day where a lot of families attend and enjoy the space. Equating this decision to the decision to allow wine and beer at Minnehaha Falls and Lake Calhoun is unrealistic because those locations don’t have a band shell that is used nightly. This is very much a family space different than the Lake Calhoun and Minnehaha Falls locations. It is currently difficult for two-way traffic to navigate the pathway, and congestion will be increased with benches and planters installed along the pathway. There should be foot-by-foot details showing how these planters will fit and if it will actually work. Signs will not stop people from walking around with drinks. If the application is approved, he requested that a mandated formal hearing be held again on this proposal one year from today.

c) Brad Rowe, 2421 Simpson Street, Roseville, stated that he worked for the owner and ran the daily operations at Bread and Pickle. A petition with over 550 signatures from local residents in favor of the application had been submitted to the Clerk for the record. He receives requests from regular customers daily asking that the establishment serve beer and wine.

d) Arlene Fried, 1109 Xerxes Avenue South, spoke in opposition to the application noting that she was co-founder of the Park Watch organization. The Lake Harriet concession stand is on a prime piece of lakeshore real estate that is highly congested during the summer season, especially during evening and weekend concerts that can attract as many as 2,200 music lovers. The lakeshore plaza attracts parents with toddlers and kids in strollers, people walking dogs, and individuals who may be using wheel chairs or scooters, in addition to walkers and bikers. The Lake Harriet concession stand is different than any other in Minneapolis in that every summer night it has up to 2,200 people crowding into the surrounding area. Cluttering up the area with the required benches and planters will create barriers and congestion. The concession area is not large enough to safely accommodate the existing traffic and the expansive wine and beer garden being requested. She asked the Committee to respect Lake Harriet and its history for what it is: a public park. (Ms. Fried also submitted her comments in writing.)

e) Jenny Halloran (sp?), 4216 Queen Avenue South, spoke in opposition to the application. This is different than any other park in Minneapolis because of the concerts and programs that are held their every night of the week during the summer. It sends a message to kids that people can’t have fun without alcohol.

Written comments were also received and included in the public record.

Glidden moved approval of the application. The Park Board made a decision about how they want the property to be used. Changes were incorporated into the plan at the direction of City staff to insure that it met certain requirements. Staff will have a role in reviewing and evaluating the use of the space to insure that it continues to meet the requirements of the City of Minneapolis.

Hofstede requested that it be entered into the record that she had received a telephone call from a business owner commenting that he is feeling additional pressure on a variety of avenues such as food trucks and others competing with established restaurants.

Gordon, Schiff, Goodman, and Hofstede spoke in favor of the motion.

The Glidden motion to approve the application was adopted upon a voice vote.