By: Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON – The liquor license application for Gat’s Jazz Cafe in downtown Bloomington has been delayed.
The city council tabled the item until Oct. 22 so the liquor commission can consider the adoption of two new licensing options, entertainment and qualified restaurant. Mayor Steve Stockton said those would address venues, such as Gat’s, that serve alcohol with live music, but falls somewhere between the two current options of restaurant and tavern.
“I don’t think there is enough support to get the T through and rather than just reject this out of hand, I think it’s fair to hold this over until we have more classifications for this,” Stockton said.
The plan is to hold two public hearings on the proposed licensing options Sept. 18 and 19 and bring the items before the city council in October. But, Alderman David Sage said he’s concerned the schedule won’t go as planned.
“There’s still a fair amount of staff work and commission work and some council work before these licenses might be approved,” Sage said.
He was concerned with making promises the city council or Mayor Stockton couldn’t keep. Stockton said that’s the timeline he has in mind and is optimistic about getting it done.
James Gaston wants to open Gat’s Jazz Cafe at 424 North Main, offering piano jazz during the week and jazz groups on the weekend. Some neighbors, including managers of Crossroads Global Handcrafts, located next door object to the application. They worry if the jazz cafe idea doesn’t work, Gaston will turn the venue into another downtown bar.
The Downtown Entertainment Task Force recommended the two licensing options.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.