The beer garden at the Stadium Bar near Camp Randall was formally limited to days on which home football games take place in a resolution passed by the Madison Plan Commission Monday.
The decision upheld a 1998 decision reached by all bars in the Camp Randall area, Ald. Robbie Webber, District 5 said.
“This is essentially reaffirming what has been in place, in my opinion and the surrounding neighbors, for 10 years. This is not new,” Webber said. “Now, the owners have a different opinion and that is why it came to the planning commission.”
Webber said that compared to the other bars in the area, Stadium Bar has been uncooperative in regards to the limitations outlined in the 1998 decision.
“Let’s just say it has been an extended disagreement. The zoning administrator and I have met with the owners and manager of the Stadium Bar many times over the last year,” Webber said.
The bar’s practices came under review by the commission after they operated the beer garden on several other days during the year. These included the annual Crazylegs Classic Run, the UW spring football game and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Activities Association’s state football tournament.
Stadium Bar operator and head manager Jim Luedtke told The Badger Herald last fall the charges came as a surprise because the bar had never been ticketed before.
“We have our interpretation of it and they have theirs,” Luedtke said. “We have years of doing this where they’ve never bothered us.”
Beer gardens are a tradition among bars along Regent and Monroe streets that attract crowds of Badger fans to their outdoor parties on game days.
Vilas neighborhood resident and UW sophomore Ben Bauer said the celebrations have never bothered him or his roommates.
“On game days, it’s pretty loud, but they don’t start too early,” Bauer said. “There are not too many bars [in the area]. It’s not like we’re over on Frances, so it’s nice to have a little variety.”
The bar has previously come under fire for operating the beer garden past designated hours and allowing customers to leave with open containers.
Webber said because of the nature of a beer garden, it is especially important to have operators on the same page as far as rules go.
Stadium Bar will go before the Commission again at the end of February to address further zoning issues.
Webber said the bar has repeatedly failed to file site plans, which it will be asked to address in February.
“Everybody seems to think we are putting new restrictions on them, but I don’t see it that way,” Webber said. “We are just bringing them back in line with what was decided 10 years ago.”
As of press time, Luedtke was not available to comment.
–Becky Vevea contributed to this report