Bloomington Mayor Steve Stockton said he would like to see downtown have more entertainment venues that are more than just drinking establishments. (Photo courtesy flickr)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - Liquor and the future of downtown Bloomington entertainment will be the topics of discussion at tonight's city council meeting.
Bloomington aldermen will finally consider the entertainment and qualified restaurant designations for liquor licenses. The Liquor Commission is recommending the full council makes changes to the city's liquor ordinance that would allow for the "Q" and "E" licensing.
"In the past, the council has sometimes talked about the fact that we're imposing too many conditions on licenses," said Mayor Steve Stockton. "The use of the 'E' and the 'Q' licenses will allow us to have more custom fit via the license without imposing conditions."
Stockton hopes the council moves toward allowing more entertainment-based projects downtown, such as a proposed entertainment mall on Nort Main Street. He says the ultimate goal is to move the downtown area away from a strictly bar dominated scene.
"We're looking at a way to change the emphasis away from bars where you just do drinking into places where you go to see a comedian or a concert," said Stockton. "Liquor would be incidental rather than the sole activity on the premises."
Gat's Jazz Cafe will finally know the fate of its liquor license application. That discussion will happen after a decision is made on expanding the designations for licensing.
The license for Gat's has been put off twice already while waiting to have a debate among the full council. Jazz cafe owner James Gatson is more than ready to see a decision made.
"I can’t start construction, because they still might deny me,” Gaston told WJBC's Jim Fitzpatrick in September. “I don’t know what they’re going to do. But I know one thing: they’re not going to do it fast.”
Gat’s Jazz Cafe would be at 424 North Main, offering piano jazz during the week and jazz groups on the weekend. The Bloomington City Council meets at 7pm.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at Zach.Dietmeier@Cumulus.com.