The plans for two future Madison bars were set back because of complications with their liquor and entertainment license applications during an Alcohol License Review Committee meeting Thursday night.
Troy Vosseller, the owner of Sconnie Nation and Curt Brink, a local business man, decided to scrap their current liquor license applications during the meeting because of complications.
Vosseller plans to open Sconnie Bar, another Wisconsin-themed business, in the vacant space over Chasers on West Gorham Street. He filed an application for a liquor and entertainment license this past July, but has since encountered problems that have halted their progress.
According to his liquor license application,Vosseller estimated the capacity of Sconnie Bar to be around 500 people. However, the Alcohol License Density Ordinance maintains that a business cannot exceed the capacity of the previous occupant. For Vosseller, this would mean the 175 person capacity of the locations’ previous owners, Cue-nique, a billiard hall that naturally had a lower capacity since it had multiple pool tables.
Since Vosseller cannot continue with his current application, he now plans on restarting the process of obtaining a liquor and entertainment license, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said.
“He made a motion for killing the application without prejudice,” Verveer said. “So this means that they can reapply without a waiting period.”
Vosseller said he plans to market Sconnie Bar to young professionals and college students, and maintain a Wisconsin atmosphere. The walls would display sport memorabilia and the menu would highlight classic Wisconsin items like cheese curds, brats and turkey legs.
Vosseller has looked at other locations for Sconnie Bar, but with ALDO limiting capacity and no larger capacity locations available, he has decided not to move.
“We’ve looked at other locations,” Verveer said. “But they really aren’t interested in being a restaurant and there are not that many places for sale.”
Area business owner Curt Brink has run into similar problems with capacity. Brink had plans to open Retro Tavern which would have been a large establishment serving both alcohol and food, while providing live entertainment.
Retro Tavern originally applied to be listed officially as a bar but hit a few roadblocks. Brink planned on having three different floors with a large bar on the main floor, but with ALDO and the noise concerns of members of the neighborhood, the plans have stalled.
“There’s not a lot of flexibility,” Brink said about the ordinance. “You’re either a restaurant, or you’re a bar. We’re trying to make sure everyone understands what we’re trying to bring.”
Verveer, who has mediated meetings with the community, has worked with Brink to find a solution to the concerns.
“Brink informed me earlier this week that he is changing his concept from a tavern to a restaurant,” Verveer said. “But he needs more time to prepare a new application.”
Brink said they would most likely submit a new application within a month or two, after continuing to work with those in the neighborhood.
Although they will have to submit new applications that are tailored to ALDO, Brink and Vosseler have plans to continue with what they have proposed.
“The density code doesn’t allow you to create anything creative or interesting,” Brink said.