On S. Lamar, Drinks Are on the Council!
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This council meeting leftover, which is no small morsel: Mayor Tom Leppert was vehemently against granting Augustine Ekukpe a specific use permit to open a bar called Neighborhood Sports Cafe on South Lamar Street, between Starks Avenue and Haven Street. Said the mayor during the council's Wednesday meeting, "If we look to the future in these neighborhoods where we want to see good things happen, at some point we need to make calls" against allowing permits for "alcoholic beverage establishments." Granting a SUP for a bar, he said, would be in direct opposition to public and private investment in a neighborhood in desperate need of "retail, housing and commercial" development, such as the kind suggested during last year's Urban Land Institute design competition.
Carolyn Davis disagreed with the mayor, insisting that Ekukpe was precisely the kind of business owner needed on South Lamar -- industrious, responsible. After speaking of assembling a South Lamar task force within the next two years, she found an ally in Steve Salazar, who said that South Lamar's "an area that needs change to happen" and that "this is one of those transitional uses that is acceptable."