"The question that should be asked is not did some bars go out of business, but are there fewer bars open now than in the past."
If you've driven down king street you know the answer to this is NO.
Will they be serving veggie burgers?
Love it!! Great people great service. Wings were amazing
Charleston Gourmet Burger Company is 10 times better than the other....But let's get rid of the Turkey...
Can you please not put a green leafy substance on your pizza...Unless you are in Denver..Gross....
John, I agree with your first 2 sentences - common sense. From my recollection, there are easily as many bars as there used to be, but actually the true measure would be in a tally of total patrons. 10 bars serving 20 each or 4 bars serving 50 each equals the same number of consumers. You have a town with a large number of 20-somethings, they're going to drink, and if they want to drink other than at home some savvy business will fill their needs. If tax revenue is what you're concerned with, it doesn't matter which place they drink.
I think you are on to something.
"a rather frightening fact — the Review Committee is not bound to approve an application even though a bar meets all the requirements in the ordinance. Committee members will make their decisions based on terms that perhaps only they know — and that might amount to nothing more than a collection of whims."
Can you spell S H A K E D O W N? The story goes like this:
Committee Member: "So, you want to open a bar, eh? I see you have all the forms filled out, proof of insurance, liquor licenses, etc..., but we Committee members will need to do a site visit to make sure everything passes muster."
Bar Owner: "How long will that take?"
Committee Member: "Well, that all depends."
Bar Owner: "Depends on what?"
Committee Member: "Well, some committee members are busy with other things. They have dinner meetings and business meetings and lots of other commitments to attend to. If only there was a way to do a site inspection and conduct these other important meetings......."
Bar Owner: "Look, we serve food and beverages. The committee members can come here for their dinner meetings and do the site inspection."
Committee Member: "Well, I don't know. These people may not be able to afford patronizing......."
Bar Owner: "Look, dinner and drinks are on the house. I just need to get approval so I can start generating income and pay my employees."
Committee Member: "We can all certainly understand how important revenue generation is. In fact, some of us are running for reelection next year. Do you have any idea how expensive an election campaign can be?"
Bar Owner: "I have no idea."
Committee Member: "Very expensive. You should talk to some of the other bar owners downtown about it. They understand. In fact, they are all very generous donors to our reelection campaigns. They understand how difficult it can be to raise capital and deal with regulations, so they partner with us to help get things done. And, of course, we try to be helpful to our patrons in the business community when it comes to resolving sticky issues with regard to licensing and applications...."
Bar Owner: "Are you saying that if I give money to certain committee members campaigns, and give them free dinners and drinks, that I am likely to get my approval quickly and without any hassles?"
Committee Member: "No. I would never SAY that, but, you know, it couldn't hurt for you to try to get on friendly terms with the Committee. Of course, you are free to leave the forms here and the Committee will get to them after we attend to other, more pressing issues, which are of great concern to many of the committee's friends, some of whom are your competitors. Perhaps the committee can consult with these other bar owners to see if they think it is a good idea to add your establishment to the area's offerings."
Bar Owner: "Wait a minute. Are you saying that other bar owners might have input about whether I get approved? That doesn't seem fair."
Committee Member: "Are you saying the committee isn't fair? That seems like an unreasonable position to assume. The committee values it's integrity. We will have to make a very careful and thorough consideration of your application."
Bar Owner: "Look, I don't want any trouble. I would like to make a sizable donation to each of the committee member's reelection campaigns, and all the members of the committee are welcome as guests in my establishment, where dinners and drinks are on my tab. I really don't want any trouble."
Committee Member: "Well, Mr. Bar Owner. I think your approval is going to sail through this committee without a hitch. You obviously understand the business of getting things done here in Charleston, and as long as you play by the rules (our rules) you won't have any trouble."
Bar Owner: "Thank you for explaining how this all works. I owe you."
Committee Member: "Yes, you do. But please, don't mention it. Really. Don't. We can all get along, so long as we understand each others priorities."
So, a Happy Ending. A few days later, Mr. Bar Owner has his paperwork approved and is open for business. In a few weeks, his new menus will arrive, reflecting increased prices across the board to pay for "the cost of doing business" in Charleston.
Asked my bitch instead.
Very well written, agree with everything the column targets.
Tourism eventually destroys that which it sets out to discover.
Follow the money with any decision the city makes.
The question that should be asked is not did some bars go out of business, but are there fewer bars open now than in the past. If bars are closing and not being replaced then regulation is hurting the business. I foresee the late-night ordinance causing a massive loss in the number of bars in the city. And with that a massive loss in city receipts from taxes, because when the bars go then restaurants will close as the social scene decays, and it just dominoes up the food chain until there is nothing downtown but empty stores and a few offices and lunch counters to feed the office workers.
Love Burbage's, love the neighborhood, but where the Hell is there parking even for a 25 seat restaurant?
The Late Night Ordinance only applies to establishments that get 35 percent of the revenue from alcohol sales.
"I'm no Luddite, but just stay away from computers. It's not that hard"
Prong, read your own advice, then explain 260 snarky CP comments.
Apparently Charleston isn't too proud to whitewash.
Anthony, he's been Mayor for a lot longer than that. Again, you beg the question: how does he continually rig the election so he wins with huge pluralities when EVERYONE hates him?
with all of the arguments that point to the change from 4am to 2am closing, it's obvious most of you were not old enough to drink at that time. People did not leave early then. The bars were just as crowded then at 4am as they are now at 2am. The difference? Back then they had two more hours of alcohol before they were turned to the streets.
Just wait until one of the bars that gets cited frequently is owned by the friend of a council person. As Haire infers, it will be a slippery slope of good 'ol boy politics once these establishments come in front of the newly created review board, or whatever. It's a damn shame this happened.
Per the columnist:
"Meanwhile, there is a proposal to upgrade passenger train service between Atlanta and Charlotte, but the proposed line will not run through Charleston. Instead, it will go through the Upstate. So much for becoming a hub for the new "knowledge economy."
Really?? Is he serious? Really??
Add cartography and geography to the ever expanding list of subjects Mat is clueless about.
Draw a straight line on a map between Charlotte and Atlanta. Now, look at how close Charleston is to that line.
Atlanta to Charleston is roughly 310 miles. Charleston to Charlotte is roughly 210 miles. Atlanta to Charlotte is roughly 245 miles.
So if we left it up to Mat Catastrophe: Utopian Infrastructure Planner, your 245 mile express train running from Charlotte to Atlanta should include a stop in Charleston, which would only add 275 extra miles to the trip.
I wonder if Mat knows that the IRS is hiring thousands of new bureaucrats.
His combination of ignorance and righteousness, tempered with a healthy disrespect, nay loathing, for his fellow man and mankind in general, would qualify him as an ideal candidate for a mid level drone position within the bowels of the IRS.
It's not clear how and to what extent this is going to be enforced. What are the penalties for bar owners who refuse to comply? And WHO does this apply to? Are restaurants who serve alcohol a loophole? There are so many questions surrounding this ordinance and a lack of public knowledge.
Powered by Foundation
© Copyright 2013,
Charleston City Paper