Logan’s Madtown Restaurant and Bar could have its liquor license suspended or taken away after failing an audit that took place last July.
Alcohol Policy Coordinator Mark Woulf said Madison Police Department requested an audit of Logan’s several months ago because they believed the facility was not operating as a restaurant under the density ordinance or their license. He said the city attorney then decided to formally request the audit of Logan’s to the finance director of the Alcohol License Review Committee.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said MPD originally requested to audit both Chaser’s Bar and Grille and Logan’s, but they ultimately chose to withdraw its request to audit Chaser’s.
Verveer said Logan’s is required to strictly operate as a restaurant and not a bar.
In order to determine if Logan’s passed or failed the audit, MPD looked at the restaurant’s revenue to see if its sales were comprised of more than 50 percent food in its establishment between May 2011 and May 2012. He said Logan’s sales were 67 percent alcohol, which caused them to fail the audit.
“The City Attorney’s Office is considering any sort of action against their license, either suspension or revocation,” Woulf said. “It is likely there will be an action because of the significant amount of alcohol sold over the 50 percent mark.”
The ALRC will further discuss the outcome of Logan’s license at its next meeting Sept. 19, Woulf said.
Verveer said it is likely a representative from Logan’s will appear at the next meeting and try to defend the license of the restaurant. He said they will make a case for which penalty, either suspension or revocation of their license, is more appropriate.
According to Woulf, it’s common for establishments like Logan’s to sell more alcohol during certain months, but food sales increase in other months.
Woulf said the only thing Logan’s can do while the city determines how to proceed with its liquor license is to continue to try to improve their food sales so they get closer to the 50 percent mark.
Verveer added Logan’s could remain open as a restaurant even if their liquor license gets revoked.
He said there was a similar case several years ago when the predecessor to Chaser’s was prosecuted for failing their audit.
“The last time a downtown establishment was prosecuted for this same thing, the city suspended their license for several days,” Verveer said.
It is necessary for restaurants to sell 50 percent or more food because new bars are prohibited from opening in the downtown area, an ordinance that aims to keep the spirit of downtown intact, Woulf said. He added the intention of the density ordinance is to hold constant the number of bars located in the downtown area and to ensure restaurants function in ways they are intended.
At the ALRC meeting last Wednesday, the committee discussed having a “walk-a-long” in September or October in which MPD would escort the ALRC committee through the downtown area, giving ALRC an idea of the level of crowding at certain establishments.
Woulf also discussed tavern safety training scheduled for September that would help bar owners, managers and staff both learn new information and ask questions.