City ready for new alcohol licenses

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor

The City of Madison is close to allowing pouring licenses for select businesses in the Arts and Entertainments District of the City.

The city has been working to refine the terms of the current alcohol sale laws since Don and Julie Parsons requested the license for their new art studio, Board and Brush located in downtown Madison.

“We aren’t there yet, we are trying to get there,” said Monica Callahan, director of City Planning, to the Madison Mayor and City Council on Monday evening. The council is expected to approve the Parson’s pouring license at a special-called meeting on January 20.

The Parsons have opened at studio at which patrons design custom wood signs and they would like to be able to offer their guest a selection of beer and wine while they create their art. The council was wary that allowing this could set a precedent that could pave the way for bars and clubs to open in Madison.

City staff and City Attorney Joe Reitman have working on tailoring the alcohol sale law in order to allow pouring licenses for businesses like the Parsons, but that will also continue to prohibit unwanted types of business that could disrupt the traditional family-friendly feel of downtown.

“We are making sure this is both legally defensible and accommodating to business,” said Callahan.

The Parsons appeared before the council at Monday night’s regular meeting.

“Thank you for the job you are all doing,” said Don Parsons.

Julie Parsons told the council they are looking forward to offering this added feature to their already booming business.

“We have only been open for 45 days and we already have had over 200 paying customers,” said Julie, who noted most of their patrons are from out of town. “We are not trying to become a bar. We are trying to create a fun place where people can come and enjoy themselves.”

“We thank you for choosing Madison,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman.

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