(St. Joseph,MO) Businesses along a small strip of Frederick Avenue will now have the opportunity to host more outdoor events that serve alcohol. Monday the city council voted unanimously on an ordinance to expand the number of catering licenses permitted to businesses along Frederick Avenue.
The new ordinance expands the catering license benefits of the downtown district along Frederick Avenue from 11th Street to 13th Street.
Bars and restaurants outside the district are currently restricted to two catering licenses each year, limiting the number of concerts and outdoor events each establishment can host. The change will allow businesses like Norty’s, Cafe Belle Epoque and the River Bluff Brewery to apply for multiple catering licenses each year.
Edison Derr, co-owner of River Bluff Brewery said he approached the council to discuss the change, because the brewery has tentative plans to host five outdoor concerts this summer with various international acts.
“It’s something we believe can really put us on the map,” Derr said. “Some of these bands that hop from Chicago to Denver will stop in Topeka, or Lawrence and we are just trying to do a couple shows; bring them here and bring us in the community, as an entertainment area, up to speed with other cities.”
Derr was unable to disclose the name of the acts until the final contracts can be secured, but said the five acts are each anticipated to generate an approximate 1,500 person crowd with most general admission tickets costing approximately $20 each.
Nancy Kelly owner of Kelly’s Pub at 1415 Frederick Ave, feels the district should include a larger portion of businesses on Frederick Avenue, and voiced safety concerns about the brewery hosting large events along the Frederick Corridor.
“It will take up their entire parking lot and it will put the overflow parking onto the side streets. I think that the area we have at the Coleman Hawkins Park would be more beneficiary,” Kelly said.
Councilmember At Large Brian Myers said few area businesses apply for catering licenses each year, but the council will be working on a new ordinance to raise the number of permits available to bars and restaurants outside of the downtown district as well.
“To my knowledge people just don’t pull caterers licenses. We finally have a couple businesses that want to explore that option,” Myers said. “I know we’ve got a little bit of resistance because we want to make sure everybody is on a level playing field here, but that’s why I’m saying we get this passed and we’ll make a motion to direct city staff to look at everyone else to handle the problem. I think that’s a good compromise.”
The council will have a work session in the coming weeks to discuss a new ordinance expanding the district to include more businesses along Frederick Avenue and raise the number of permits allowed for other businesses outside of the designated area.
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