Several dowtown business owners were present at Wednesday's Bloomington Liquor Commission meeting to made their feelings known on a proposed entertainment mall. (WJBC file photo)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Liquor Commission is revisiting the topic of an entertainment mall in downtown Bloomington but has decided against the idea.
Six Strings Club owner Daniel Rolph wants to move his bar to the 300 block of North Main to include the bar, club, and several kiosks of vendors.
"My business will not survive with a tavern license by itself," said Rolph. "I need to be able to expand my business. I can't do that, because I can't have people under 21 in the established building. It's also too small to put a restaurant in."
Many business associates in that area, including Fox and Hounds Day Spa owner Tim Tilton, aren't interested in bringing noise and possible vandalism and parking issues to that location.
"Daniel's running a good operation, and that's very clear," said Tilton. "I'm just not sure that it's the best fit for that particular part of the downtown."
The encore session was made available due to widescale complaint that not enough community notice was given before a first meeting in October. Business owners like Tilton wanted the opportunity to tell why they don't want Six Strings Club and the rest of an entertainment mall next door.
"From a point of that much extra activity in that part of the downtown where there are residents, I just don't feel like that's in our best interest," said Tilton. "You have to consider the balance that we're looking for in our center city."
Rolph feels restricted by a lack of liquor license differentiations.
"When I applied, these interpretations didn't exist," said Rolph. "I applied under the old original criteria which was layed out based on two types of licensing. To hold me hostage is probably a little bit unfair."
The liquor commission went back and voted down the mall proposal, but there could be more discussions in the future.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.