|Nightlife changes planned for Bloomington|
|Written by Nellie Romanowski, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 02 December 2012 14:59|
Downtown Bloomington will not introduce any new bars or taverns any time in the near future but plans to begin to shift the focus off nightlife within the next few years.
As of last Monday, the Bloomington City Council officially put a hold on developing new establishments within its city limits.
The City Council unanimously approved a six-month ban on new licenses submitted after Monday in hopes to begin to change the perception of Bloomington’s nightlife.
This amendment to city rules and regulations also means the Laugh Comedy Club will be able to switch licenses from a tavern license to a restaurant license as the only exception due to its submission before the deadline, Bloomington Liquor Commissioner and Mayor Steve Stockton, said.
“The council first voted to approve Laugh’s restaurant license because we saw it as an opportunity of growth for the downtown area,” Stockton said.
Switching the environment of Laugh Comedy Club involves a change in intent to run a restaurant and a comedy club, not a tavern, Stockton said.
The council and the liquor commission hope to use this six-month break to begin establishing new rules and regulations to steer other bars toward this same ideal.
“We have pushed for more businesses like the comedy club so that we can establish variety within the downtown loop,” Stockton said.
The liquor commission is hopeful that this break period gives businesses the opportunity to renew, relocate or change ownership.
Many of the bars in downtown Bloomington are beginning to recognize the changes being made and are starting to open up to the idea.
Fat Jack’s bar, located downtown, shifted their focus several years ago to offer more of a variety to customers.
“It has been very beneficial to start offering food and a different atmosphere during the daytime,” Quince Holman, Fat Jack’s employee, said.
“People enjoy the downtown scene in the evening, but some people like to go for dinner or grab something to eat after work — it is nice to offer more to people than just a bar that is open late,” Holman said.
The council and liquor commission are also beginning to recognize a shift in attitude within the clubs and bars that already exist in the main stretch of bars.
“Six Strings is considering moving to a new location if they choose, along with the new changes taking place at Laugh Comedy Club,” Stockton said.