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UPDATE: City Council unanimously lifts 27-year-old liquor license moratorium

Posted at 6:27 PM, Feb 06, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — UPDATE: A proposal to lift a decades-old liquor license moratorium passed unanimously Tuesday night at the Green Bay City Council meeting.

  • A 27-year-old liquor lawwas repealed at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
  • The moratorium placed liquor license limits on bars in the Broadway district, parts of Washington St., and the Olde Main Street Business district.
  • The repeal was unanimously passed through the Protection and Policy Committee.
  • Copper State Brewing owner reflects on the "hassle" of obtaining a liquor license.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Any time you can reduce the amount of paperwork you need to do and the hoops you have to jump through, it's good for business," Johnathan Martens, Copper State Brewing owner, said. "When we finally moved in April 2017, we had six weeks of crazy construction."

And on top of that, some legal hurdles to jump.

"So it was it was a crazy time ," Martens said.

The City Council is now reviewing a proposal to lift a decades-old liquor license moratorium, which has already passed the Protection and Policy Committee.

"It's time to move on," OnBroadway executive director and District 9, Brian Johnson, said. "It's an old relic of the past and we're ready to address the future."

Johnson is one of two alderpersons making the push to end it. Randy Scannell, District 7 alder, is the other.

Johnson said years ago, the restriction was about public safety along Broadway Ave, which was with too many bars.

"It was really meant to address certain challenges that existed at the time, those challenges no longer exists," Johnson said.

Johnson said ending the rule would clear a lot of red tape and help new businesses get to business faster.

"Business owners have enough things to deal with," Martens said. "We found that if there was a time and place for (the moratorium) but they've kind of outgrown their usefulness, then it's time that we reconsider having them in place and move on."

Most of the people I spoke with say the restriction just isn't needed anymore and they're confident the city council will approve a change.