Sunday, October 12, 2014

Take It Outside: Popular University of Idaho Bar Goes Dry

Posted By on Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 9:30 AM

The Perch - KREM.COM
  • The Perch

Things are a lot quieter at a popular bar near the University of Idaho

The Idaho liquor license for The Perch, on University Avenue in Moscow, allowed the tavern to serve alcohol for years under the provision that it also sell food. When The Perch was sold in 2013 its new owner presumed that everything would remain the same, but officials with Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control said The Perch was being run primarily as a bar, forcing the new owner to reapply for an alcohol license.

Now a nearby church has challenged the new liquor license application, citing a section of Idaho Code that forbids a tavern within 300 feet of a house of worship. 

According to KREM 2, in Spokane, The Perch has been ordered to stop serving alcohol. The tavern can still sell prepackaged beer and wine, but it can't be consumed on the premises.

Meanwhile, the new owner said he still needs to convince officials that 40 percent of his revenue comes from food sales.
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Torch 2 to Appeal City Council Shut Down Order

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Torch 2, on appeal
  • Torch 2, on appeal
An attorney for the Torch II bikini bar on Vista Avenue just told citydesk the owner plans to appeal this week's unanimous City Council decision ordering the bar to close within six months.

"This action is a mere pretext to a political agenda to close the bar," said Torch 2 attorney David Leroy, reached Friday morning on the links at Tamarack by cell phone.

Leroy said that bar owner Mans Montgomery will appeal the decision to Fourth District Court in the next few weeks, arguing that the shut down is arbitrary and capricious.

You will recall that in April the city moved to shut down the bar, citing the renovation of an entryway. The strip club was grandfathered in after a new city nudie ordinance passed in 2002 and is not permitted to expand. In April, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said it was a zoning and not a political issue.

Leroy said that a construction worker expanded the vestibule a few square feet—without the knowledge of owner Mans Montgomery—as he shored up the rotting roof. You can read the appeal and sworn depositions from construction crew members on the city's Web site.

Torch 2, way back when
  • Torch 2, way back when
According to "oral tradition" in the neighborhood, the log cabin which now hosts the Torch II first opened as "Nineteen Cent Hamburgers" in 1935. It then became Q's Trophy Cabin, selling sports memorabilia and then Casey's Beer Depot. In 1987 it became a bikini bar called Blue Macs and Montgomery bought it in 2003, converting it to the Torch 2.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Boise bar owners question Otter attorney

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 4:44 PM

About 20 Boise bar owners gathered at City Hall this afternoon to pepper Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's attorney with questions about proposed changes to the state's liquor quota system.

If you read Scott Weaver's story this morning on liquor license holder concerns with the changes you might think they peppered attorney David Hensley with buck shot. Now, we left the meeting early, but the tone of the first hour was remarkably civil.

Bar owners seemed to accept that the state was not going to pony up millions of dollars to buy out their licenses. Instead they wanted to know why they couldn't get larger discounts from the state-owned liquor dispensary, get rid of the Alcoholic Beverage Control arm of the State Police and why Otter's plan seems to favor new business (implied: chain restaurants under the ruse of economic development) over established local businesses.

Hensley, and Bardenay owner Kevin Settles, a key member of Otter's liquor committee, made the case that bar owners may as well get on board if they want to retain any value in their licenses.

Settles has been on two legislative committees and two governor's committees over the course of nearly a decade, attempting to retire the state role in issuing and controling liquor licenses.

"The governor has made this a priority," Settles said. "He doesn't believe in the quota system."

Hensley outlined the benefits to current bar owners contained in the 54-page bill he delivered to the legislative bill drafters today.

Anyone that holds a liquor license on the day the bill becomes law gets some benefit:
  • The state licenses are transferable anywhere in the state
  • a 10 percent discount on liquor purchases (they get 5 percent now)
  • less involvement with ABC in procuring and renewing licenses
  • less draconian fines on server violations, to accompany a new server training regimen
  • lower license renewal fees that the new class of municipal liquor license holders
  • more onus on underage drinkers and better definitions for serving drunk people

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