Presidential Posts

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

DMNA President's Summary - December 1, 2009

Dear Neighborhood,

First, thank you to everyone who showed up on Tuesday night, December 1, for the Q&A session with the proposed local restaurants. I think we got a much better idea of what will be going into the site of the old Blarney Stone on the Frontage Road. To that end, we learned:

1) The name of the restaurant has been changed from “The Excalibur” to “Faouzi’s Restaurant and Bar”

2) It will be a typical restaurant with bar, serving appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees ranging in price from $2.99 to $15.99; they expect food will account for 60% of their revenues, with alcohol making up the remaining 40%

3) It will not have live music except for the rare instances of events, such as birthday parties, etc. They will be open from 10am-12am on Sun-Wed and 10am-2am on Thurs-Sat.

4) They intend to have a total of 8 security cameras inside and out, including cameras monitoring the back parking lot and cash registers/bar. They will be installing new anti-vandal lighting systems outside. They intend to monitor the parking lots regularly, review video, help police get access to video, and report any incidents. They will have bouncers, if necessary, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

The neighborhood expressed the following concerns about the bar:

1) General drunkenness: The owners have agreed to participate in the SafeRide program run by the Tavern League that offers patrons free cab rides home, if necessary.

2) Problem Behavior: This neighborhood, especially the area next to Zimmer’s Liquor, is a problem spot for fighting, arguing, drug dealing and other problem activity. Some of the neighborhood felt that a bar in this location would only make the problems worse. Both the owner of the building and the owners of the restaurant have agreed to monitor their building, provide a safe and family-friendly restaurant environment, and cooperate with police and local neighborhood authorities to prevent crime.

3) Parking: The building has a capacity of 120 people, but the total parking area allotted to the restaurant and bar would only have enough parking for 60-80 – at 3 to 4 people per vehicle - at best. More research is being done into this problem to determine how much of a burden this shortfall would be.

The owner of the other restaurant, Bernie and Tony’s Sicilian Restaurant and Bar, did not show on Monday night, though many of the same concerns have been expressed about the location on the corner of the Frontage and Danbury. In that situation, the parking situation and problem behavior is made more troubling by the close proximity to the residences on Danbury and Lumley including a parking lot with 2 exits onto Danbury.

The City of Madison Alcohol Licensing and Review Committee meets on December 16th to decide whether these two restaurants and bars should be granted alcohol licenses. The input of the neighborhood and the Neighborhood Association is taken very seriously. Please let me, Jeff Glazer ( <> , 608-277-1778), know if you would support, contingently support, or reject these restaurants and bars. Please keep in mind that we can request restrictions on the liquor license such as amended hour of operation (perhaps 10am to 10pm during the week?) and provision of additional parking.

As a reminder, we will be discussing this issue at our regular council meeting on Tuesday, December 15th, at 7pm at the Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society, corner of Crawford and Whenona.

Jeff Glazer, President, Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association