Beer may be flowing soon at the Old Woolen Mill.The Cleveland City Council voted under new business Monday to amend a city ordinance to increase the number of Class 2 beer permits after a request was …
Beer may be flowing soon at the Old Woolen Mill.
The Cleveland City Council voted under new business Monday to amend a city ordinance to increase the number of Class 2 beer permits after a request was made by a local concert promoter.
The proposed amended ordinance was passed 6-1, with Councilman Charlie McKenzie voting in opposition.
As a result, the number of permits will be increased from 14 permits to 16 permits if the amended ordinance is passed on its final reading, which may take place later this month.
During the City Council's work session, Maureen Pettigrew, who with her husband Randy runs On-Point Productions LLC, said that although a five-concert test run at downtown Cleveland's Old Woolen Mill has generated much interest, the ability to sell beer would attract more patrons, as well as generate much-needed revenue.
"When my husband and I decided to do this, our goal was to bring awareness to the Old Woolen Mill, to support local artists and to support local vendors, as well," Pettigrew said. "We had a series of concerts as a test period to see how the event played out and how the financials were for us."
Pettigrew said she and her husband have financed the concerts, which cost about $5,000 each to produce. Tickets cost $10.
"Now that the test period is over, the only problem is the financials," Pettigrew said, adding that selling beer would offset some of the costs, allowing the event to grow.
"People have been asking for beer at the concerts," Pettigrew said. "We have a lot of momentum building, but we need to build attendees."
The concert series began in March and has offered a variety of musical genres, including Indie Rock, Blues and Southern Rock.
The next concert is planned for 4 p.m. Saturday, June 13, and will feature metal and punk bands.
She said local musicians, as well as those from around the region, are excited about playing at the mill, which offers excellent acoustics. Over the years, it has developed a reputation as a popular location for bands to practice.
"The feedback from the music community has been tremendous," Pettigrew said. "They love the sound quality. There's nothing like this out there."'
Councilman Bill Estes asked Cleveland City Attorney John Kimball if there would be any difficulty increasing the availability of beer permits. Kimball said the current number of permits was capped at 14.
"They are capped and the Council would have to vote to raise the number from 14 to 16, so that it would make one available for them," Kimball said.
In addition, Kimball said raising the number of permits to 16 would provide an extra beer permit for the city to allocate at a later date.
Monday's vote does not immediately change the ordinance and allow the Pettigrews to begin selling beer at the concerts. Their next step will be to apply for a beer license after the amended ordinance is approved on final reading.
"Once you change the ordinance on final reading, then they would have to apply with the beer board," Kimball said.
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