Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


City to review Quinton’s bar

[media-credit name=’SUNDEEP MALLADI/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]Quintons-SM[/media-credit]Members of a group who filed a formal complaint against Quinton's Bar and Deli on West Gorham Street are pressing Mayor Dave Cieslewicz to take action against the establishment.

Capitol Neighborhoods, Inc., initially filed a complaint with Madison's Alcohol License Review Committee in October 2006, alleging the business is operating as a tavern and not a restaurant, as is stated on its alcohol license application.

In order to stay within the bounds of the liquor license it has applied for, Quinton's must have more than 50 percent of its revenue come from non-alcohol sources.


In a letter to Cieslewicz dated March 25, 2007, CNI president Ledell Zellers said she is "seriously concerned regarding the lack of action being taken" in response to the complaint and said Quinton's has yet to prove it receives 50 percent of its profits from food sales.

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, whose district includes Quinton's, said the city is now taking the complaint seriously.

"The city attorney's office directed the city comptroller's office to audit Quinton's books to determine what percentage of their profit is from alcohol and what's from other sources," Verveer said.

At last Wednesday's ALRC meeting, Verveer said Assistant Attorney and ALRC lawyer Jennifer Zilavy gave a presentation on the status of the audit and said Quinton's had been less than cooperative during the process.

"As to the specifics of what that means, I don't know," Verveer said.

Another rule in the establishment's liquor license is that it must close one hour prior to bar time. Verveer said this is because when Quinton's initially opened, there were suspicions it would turn into a bar.

CNI's allegations against Quinton's are mostly based on anecdotal evidence, Verveer said.

"They actually submitted photos with their complaint to the city last year when they filed it — photos of the outdoor beer garden area packed with students drinking," Verveer said. "So it's based on this anecdotal evidence — with students drinking — that it's really a bar."

Quinton's did not respond to repeated interview requests from The Badger Herald.

According to Verveer, Quinton's has occasionally been a problem from the Madison Police Department as well — underage drinking citations have repeatedly been issued at the establishment.

However, the citations were later revoked when the MPD realized Quinton's is considered a restaurant — and not a bar — and can have underage people in it as long as they aren't drinking alcohol.

Being near campus, Quinton's is often visited by University of Wisconsin students, particularly on weekends, and it has become a popular hangout.

UW senior Brad Kasavana said he would be extremely opposed to Quinton's closing or losing its liquor license.

"Quinton's is one of the few bars on campus that has a very relaxing atmosphere," Kasavana said.

With the weather improving, other students are concerned they will lose a bar with an outdoor serving area.

"It would be sad, in a way, because it's a lot closer to our house than a lot of places are, and it's a really nice bar," UW junior Nicole Allen said. "[There are] not too many bars down here that have outdoor seating."

Quinton's alcohol license expires June 30 and is up for renewal this spring.

Verveer said so-called "problem bars" are called before the ALRC to review the status of their licenses, and Quinton's will likely be called in due to the problems the establishment has faced with CNI and the MPD.

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