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Some say simply ‘questioning’ Wiley’s business practices was out of line. Really?

What short memories people have. Only four years ago, the city council threatened to pull a license for the Vault and put them on warning with a deferral when similar things were going on (city council meeting) and (My post on it) at their establishment that have been going on at Wileys. In fact, after watching the meeting (the discussion went on for 35 minutes), besides the diddling on the cars, the things going on at the Vault pales in comparison to Wileys. It came down to basically not supplying adequate parking. How many private parking spots does Wileys have? I count ZERO. It is also important to note that the Vault had 154 police calls in a 12 month period. In 10 months of this year, Wileys is up to 182 calls. The deferral meeting is here (FF: 11:00). If you watch the meeting, you will see councilors had several meetings with the Vault and the Police department before the vote. Councilor Jamison went on to say that these kind of ‘reviews’ of the establishments was important to establish a public record of the concerns. The council voted 7-1 to renew the license, Rolfing was the dissenting vote. I believe the Vault went out of business in 2013.

Also during the meeting, they try to beat down an immigrant c-store owner in Pettigrew Heights for letting people drink 40’s beside his store. The mayor even said this to the c-store owner’s attorney during the meeting;

“. . . it is the duty of the city council to review all liquor licenses that are up for renewal. If they want to complete some additional due diligence on any of these, whether it be the Vault, whether it be the Mercato or any of the other establishments that serve alcohol in this town, they have the ability to do that. In this case they wanted to ask some questions or do some additional due diligence on the Mercato before they make a decision on that, so before you start to accuse a councilor, or someone else for doing something that is appropriate or not, I would encourage you to use caution. .  .  . I would encourage you to tone it down a bit, the council has a right to ask questions.”

What a short memory our mayor has.

They also beat down a tattoo shop owner for simply wanting a beer license so he can sell during art opening events. And how many complaints has the shop had in the past four years? Not sure. But I would assume if it was major, we would have heard about it by now. I have displayed art at the shop and have attended many other events there. It was no different then an art opening at the Pavilion (which sells alcohol at their art openings). The council voted 4-3 to approve the license with Karsky, Rolfing and Aguliar dissenting.

Seems a bit hypocritical of Michelle and Mike to say they were embarrassed about the very short discussion last night, in which in the end 7 councilors voted to let them keep their license. Let’s talk about embarrassment. It’s embarrassing our city officials have such short memories when regulating liquor licenses.

I also find it ironic that Wiley’s attorney, Drew Duncan is a well known Municipal and State government lobbyist. Seems this story is a lot deeper then we may ever know.

Council Moments; Rex Rolfing’s foot, fornicating bar patrons & bath salts

Africa? Latin America? What’s the difference?

Trust me, this isn’t the first time Rolfing has put his foot in his mouth while addressing immigrant business owners. While interviewing the owner of the Mercato c-store (Who is an African immigrant) he says “Sir, I have traveled throughout Africa, and I am just curious what the word ‘Mercato’ means?” The owner leans into the microphone slowly, and kind of confused says, “Uh, it’s the Spanish Latin word for ‘Market’.” (sic). I think I would have said “Not sure, I don’t speak Latin. I got a good deal on the sign off of Craig’s list.”

The highlight of the evening though was the review of the Vault’s liquor license renewal, which got referred to the December 4th meeting. But not before testimony about bar patrons ‘urinating’ and ‘fornicating’ in the streets. Personally, it doesn’t really matter how long they defer this decision, I think the council will revoke the license. The only real defense the Vault has is that they were there first and the hotels built around him. The major problem I see is that he has 86 parking spots for a bar that holds 640 people. It’s like the new events center parking dilemma on a smaller scale. Can’t wait to see what kind of ‘fornicating’ happens in McCart field after a C&W concert at the new EC.

I have often suggested that bars have NO parking lots. If you want people to stop drinking and driving, stop giving them a place to park while getting intoxicated at your establishment. I’m just sayin’.

But I would like to congratulate Vishnu Bunny Tattoo owner, Jeff Mann for successfully securing a malt beverage license for his gallery. State law already prevents Jeff from serving alcohol in his shop while tattooing patrons. He asked for the license to serve beer once or twice a month during art gallery opening receptions, etc. The tattooing operations would be shut down during the receptions. I will have to give Jeff credit, he has acted in a very professional manner in moving his business downtown, and am glad to see him following procedure when it comes to serving alcohol. Jeff stressed last night that his place ‘will not become a bar’. Of course it didn’t stop the downtown fuddie-duddies from showing up and crying about the riff-raff a tattoo shop and lowbrow art gallery bring in. Ironically two of the complainers were a wine shop owner (someone who sells alcohol) and a gallery owner (well, you know, he sells art). There was also a flower shop owner who had to bring up closing the loop for a reason, and she went so far to go to Vishnu’s FB page and find a comment someone made about ZombieWalk and using ‘bath salts’ at Vishnu Bunny that night. I can tell you I have attended many openings and parties at Vishnu, one time, even with the mayor in attendance. And I have yet to see anyone using illicit drugs.

It’s these same fuddie-duddies who closed the loop down to begin with so they could have DT to themselves and their yuppie clientele. Vibrant downtown areas of any city thrive by being the cultural and dining focal point of the city, that inlcudes a mix of all kinds of businesses. Just think about, where else in Sioux Falls can you say there is brokerage, a gift store, a toy store, a cigar bar, a pool hall and tattoo shop all on the same block? You can’t. It’s time the fuddie-duddies in SF embraced business diversity DT and stopped fighting it. It is 2012 not 1952.

Councilors Rolfing, Karsky and Aguliar voted against granting Vishnu a license. I was surprised that Rolfing didn’t ask Jeff what ‘Vishnu‘ meant.