Thursday, August 13, 2009

This Week's Racine Post cartoon

To understand this story, you may need to know that the two principal commercial streets in downtown Racine, Wisconsin, are Main Street (north-south) and 6th Street (east-west). The 1970s and 1980s saw a collapse of the downtown area as commercial businesses fled to the fringes of town. A concerted effort to revitalize Main Street has been underway for the past decade, while the effort to revitalize 6th Street is only a couple years old.

From the original story in Racine Post:

A proposed convenience store on Sixth Street can't get any traction with city officials because the owners want to sell packages of wine and beer.

The Public Safety and Licensing Committee voted 3-0 Monday night to deny a license for a proposed store at 420 Sixth St. The vote practically dooms the store, which was opposed by several Sixth Street business owners.

James and Caroline Chun had proposed opening a convenience store that would sell basic groceries and household items along with prepackaged beer and wine. ...

Fritz Cape, the owner of 302 and 304 Sixth St., said there was already a large concentration of liquor licenses on the street.

"It's not in keeping with the vision of a revitalized Sixth Street," said Cape, whose wife, former Alderwoman Cherri Cape, also spoke against the proposal. Cherri is also the owner of Moxie Child at 304 Sixth St. ...

Blogger and Downtown business owner Dennis Navratil argued the city doesn't have problems with businesses that sell packaged alcohol, and pointed out businesses like Uncorkt and the former Braun's and Historic Century Market never have had a problem.

Navratil also pointed out Downtown has at least 20 vacant buildings, which would seem the indicate the need to attract new businesses. If Downtown bars are creating problems, he said, take away their licenses, don't punish a convenience store that's never opened.

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