Janesville44.3°

Halbachs go for liquor license again

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
May 31, 2008
— Janesville could trade a strip club for a bar if it grants a liquor license to Rev. Jim’s Roadhouse at 402 W. Delavan Drive, which now is Screamin’ MeeMees.

Rebecca Halbach is applying for the license.


The request comes several weeks after Paul Williams left the city council and its alcohol license advisory committee. Williams long stymied Halbach’s repeated efforts to get a license at the Delavan Drive location.


The alcohol licensing committee will meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday to consider the request. A public hearing is scheduled, and neighbors have been notified.


The Janesville ordinance that regulates sexually oriented businesses prohibits nudity in places that serve alcohol, so a strip club could no longer operate at that site if the license is approved.


Halbach offered in 2004 to give up the strip club for a liquor license but was denied.


The city’s ordinance that regulates sexually oriented businesses is a direct result of Halbach’s inability to get a license at the site and his subsequent decision to open a nude club.


Jim and Rebecca Halbach bought the Springbrook Food Mart in 2000 with plans to open a pub and sub shop.


But neighbors complained about a bar opening there. Members of the alcohol license committee and the council over the years have given a variety of reasons for denying the liquor licenses, including bar clustering, possible littering and noise and safety issues because of a lack of adjacent parking.


Halbach tried to appease the complainer by buying parking across the street, for example. But again and again he was denied a liquor license there and at a nearby site.


Perhaps Halbach’s biggest block was Paul Williams, a councilmember who consistently voted against granting a license. In 2002, Halbach erected two billboards that urged voters to elect “ANYONE BUT … Paul Williams.”


Williams did not seek re-election in April and is no longer the chairman of the alcohol license committee.


Screamin’ MeeMees recently has been in the news because some dancers there were arrested on charges of prostitution.


IF YOU GO

A public hearing on a liquor application for Rev. Jim’s Roadhouse will be held before the Alcohol License Advisory Committee, with meets at 8 a.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. The committee’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Monday, June 9, council meeting A public hearing also is scheduled before the council, with the meeting starting at 7 p.m.



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