Magellans, a bar and pizza place that sponsors a stage in downtown Waukesha for Freeman Friday Night Live, might be allowed to serve alcohol in the fenced in area near the stage in front of the building.
The Ordinance & License Committee voted three to two to approve the extension of premises for Magellans during its meeting Monday night. The request will have to go before the Waukesha Common Council at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4.
Owner Dan Italiano was requesting the approval for July 29 and Aug. 5, 12 and 19 during Freeman Friday Night Live. It appeared that the request was going to again be denied the by the committee – – but one alderman had a change of heart during the meeting after several business owners and those affiliated with the event showed their support for Italiano. No one came forward to speak out against Magellans request at the committee meeting.
The, which means traffic would not be impeded by the request.
Italiano told the committee that while he has had the fenced in area up all summer long, his security staff has been strictly enforcing the city rules, including the allowance of alcohol of alcohol at certain tables on the sidewalk but not at the tables on the streets.
“It is hard to explain to the people that you can drink in one area but you cant drink at the tables under the tent,” Italiano said. “… I am looking to do this right. I have a lot of money invested into Friday Night Live.”
Approval Comes with a few Changes
The approval that is being recommended by the committee is for Aug. 12 and Aug. 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The beer would also have to be served at the tables.
Alderman Steve Johnson made statements earlier in the meeting that he was concerned about changing the atmosphere of the family event.
“I just cannot be responsible for turning this Friday night family activity to a downtown street bar,” Johnson said.
Johnson, along with aldermen Terry Thieme and Roger Patton approved the extension of premises after the hours were changed from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thieme and Patton expressed earlier in the meeting that they intended to support the request.
“I do feel conflicted, because I do stand by statement that you don’t need to go down there and you don’t need to drink to have a good time,” said Thieme, who spoke about seeing the growth of the downtown during the past 15 years. “ (But) … as successful as this event has been, as long as it is supervised properly, I am not seeing any problems.”
Aldermen Duane Paulson and John Kalblinger voted against the request.
“I am concerned it will set a precedent moving forward,” Kalblinger aid.
Police: No Major Problems
There have been few problems with Freeman Friday Night Live, said Police Officer Dave Daily, who has been assigned as a community policing officer five of the seven nights so far. While there was one arrest made after an intoxicated man – who has not yet been convicted off his charges – allegedly punched when walking through the area, Daily made it clear that Magellans has been exemplary downtown, including with the fenced off area near its stage.
“I can say their security was on top of it,” said Daily, who also said there were no objections for the extension of premises from the police department. “… It had nothing to do with Magellans. … From my perspective, I don’t think Magellans is a problem.”