Madison’s City Council voted Tuesday to approve a settlement agreement with Taco Bell, meaning the State Street Taco Bell will be issued a beer and wine license within the next 15 days.
According to The Cap Times, the license allows for the Taco Bell to serve wine and beer until 10 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, they can serve the beverages until 11 p.m.
Taco Bell will have to meet the city definition of a restaurant at all times by having food available during all hours of operation, in accordance with state law. City law also stipulates that the sale of alcoholic beverages can account for no more than 50 percent of the establishment’s gross receipts.
Former Mayor Paul Soglin had vetoed a Common Council approval of the beer and wine license in 2017, with the council failing to garner enough votes to override the veto. Taco Bell then sued the city.
According to The Cap Times, the complaint, filed April 2018 with Dane County Circuit Court, alleged that the denial of the alcohol license was “unlawful and discriminatory” when considering the city’s previous stance on restaurant liquor license approvals and current policy.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway has said she doesn’t want to target individual businesses when looking at alcohol licensing downtown.
“I think it’s very important for us to understand the impact of food service and alcohol businesses on our retail districts, and in particular on State Street, and I’m quite concerned about the business mix on State Street, and certainly alcohol licenses play into that,” she told 27 News.
According to 27 News, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, introduced a new measure Tuesday. It would extend a ban on new alcohol licenses in an area including parts of State Street, University Avenue, Gilman Street and Lake Street. The ban has been in place for five years and will expire in July.