BLOOMINGTON - A liquor license still is recommended for Show Me's, a chain restaurant that has become controversial because of servers' uniforms and a proposal rooftop patio.
More than three hours of discussion Wednesday night failed to change the Bloomington Liquor Commission's previous recommendation to issue the license for the downtown business.
Commissioners unanimously voted to recommend the license for the restaurant to locate at 517 N. Main St. and included the use of the roof as a patio dining area.
It was essentially identical to the commission's July 12 recommendation for the license. One change added Wednesday was a stipulation that the rooftop patio must not be occupied by more than 30 people.
At its July 24 meeting, the Bloomington City Council returned the recommendation for the Show Me's license to the commission for further review of: the rooftop patio; the nature of the restaurant, including the servers' uniforms; and whether the restaurant would operate as tavern.
Rich Marvel, an attorney representing adjacent property owner Fred Wollrab, argued against the patio, saying Wollrab had an agreement with Show Me's site owner Brian Novotny not to build or have any commercial activity on the exterior of the building. That includes a rooftop patio, Marvel said.
If the rooftop patio is built as Novotny proposes, a living room window to one of Wollrab's apartments would open up to the patio.
Apartment residents Catherine Dunlap and Eric Stock sent a letter to the commission requesting the rooftop patio be denied. Dunlap is the former executive director of the Downtown Bloomington Association.
The Florida-style beach theme for the restaurant includes servers in short-shorts and T-shirts. Commissioner Mary Beth Clapp questioned Show Me's President Ron Cote about the uniforms and the restaurant's "best tails in town" slogan that appears on the back of the servers' T-shirts.
Clapp said her objection to the uniform would only mean she would not patronize the restaurant and not a vote against the license.
At a glance
What does this mean to you?
Show Me's, a Florida-beach themed restaurant, is one step closer to locating in downtown Bloomington after the Liquor Commission's vote Wednesday evening.
A recommendation by the Bloomington Liquor Commission to issue a restaurant liquor license was returned to the commission by the City Council last month. The council wanted to see more discussion on a proposed rooftop patio and the nature of the restaurant's uniform for the servers.