F’ville tavern owner wants to loosen alcohol, sign restrictions

The recently elected members of the Fayetteville City Council during their campaign run used the idea of potentially relaxing some aspects of the sign ordinance as a way of stimulating business activity.

They got their first chance at making good on their proposal at the Feb. 2 council meeting when Larry Graves, owner of the Olde Courthouse Tavern located downtown across from the old courthouse, requested consideration of posting additional signage at his downtown business along with other requests to extend the time for purchasing alcohol, allowing outside alcohol consumption in designated areas downtown, changing the percentage of alcohol and food sold in city restaurants and having an increased number of downtown events to stimulate more foot traffic.

Graves spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting. He began his remarks by complimenting former Mayor Ken Steele and the previous council for having been supportive of his efforts to open the tavern.

“I got good support and nobody tried to run me out,” Graves said.

With that, Graves had a number of suggestions that he maintained would help his business, other businesses in the immediate downtown area and other restaurants across the city that sell alcohol.

Graves said he recently purchased and installed two “tavern flags” on the outside of his building on Glynn Street that enhance the look of the building that is already outfitted with lights and ads in the windows. Graves said the flags have contributed positively to his business, adding that installing them also put him in violation of the city’s sign ordinance and that he had received a citation for the violation.

“The sign ordinance needs to be loosened up.” Graves said of the square footage requirements in the ordinance.

City Manager Joe Morton in commenting on the violation minutes later said Graves had received a warning, not a citation, adding that aspects of the sign ordinance would be reviewed at the upcoming council retreat.

Graves in another request suggested that the times for selling alcohol by the glass be extended an additional hour. The current times carry a cutoff at midnight on Saturdays nights and 1 a.m. on weekdays.

Graves also asked the council to look at amending the current percentage of food sales to alcohol sales. The current provision states that sales of food should account for 75 percent of sales. He maintained that doing so would be beneficial to other restaurants that serve alcohol.

Graves prefaced another request by noting the good job done in bringing events such as the chili cook-off and others to the downtown area. His request centered on bringing more events to the old courthouse area and having the city confer with the county to “loosen up” the ordinance so that adults can “walk around” with alcoholic beverages.

“We need more events on a regular basis and when we do we need to loosen up on the (alcohol) regulations to let people walk around with alcohol in designated areas around the square,” Graves said.

Commenting on the requests, Councilman Walt White in referencing restaurants that serve alcohol said, “The old council didn’t go into this with alcohol in mind.”

Graves in response noted that his is a restaurant with a bar, not a bar with a restaurant.

Councilman Mickey Edwards at the end of the comments said the council could look at the requests. Councilman Paul Oddo asked that Graves put his various requests in writing so that council members can refer to them as part of their review of the sign ordinance and other issues that will come up at the retreat in early March.

The all-day council retreat will be held on March 9 at the old courthouse in downtown Fayetteville. The proceedings are open to the public.

FuriousStylez
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Hey! I resemble that remark!

why does everything involve the dreaded negative slippery slope? Believe me, fayetteville will NEVER turn into a New Orleans. I'm from New Orleans. Its 2012 AD and we are barely able to buy beer on Sunday. Im sure some of you are thinking its the End of Days because of this.
and walk around to WHAT? to see the Dorsey or Holliday houses? The jewelry store? or better yet Jordans junk yard?This downtown has potential but its pathetic. We should be spending and keeping our money here..instead there are the usual, "If you want that go to Newnan and PTC" Don't get me wrong I like Fville and live here. I just see the potential of being much better
Whats my point? I guess I'm just tired of coming on here to read negative blog after negative blog..give us an better idea once in a while
I for one think the flags look great. Im not a huge fan of the neon either

RKS
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FS
FuriousStylez wrote:

why does everything involve the dreaded negative slippery slope? Believe me, fayetteville will NEVER turn into a New Orleans. I'm from New Orleans. Its 2012 AD and we are barely able to buy beer on Sunday. Im sure some of you are thinking its the End of Days because of this.
and walk around to WHAT? to see the Dorsey or Holliday houses? The jewelry store? or better yet Jordans junk yard?This downtown has potential but its pathetic. We should be spending and keeping our money here..instead there are the usual, "If you want that go to Newnan and PTC" Don't get me wrong I like Fville and live here. I just see the potential of being much better
Whats my point? I guess I'm just tired of coming on here to read negative blog after negative blog..give us an better idea once in a while
I for one think the flags look great. Im not a huge fan of the neon either

The reason us Fayettevillians have to go to PTC or Newnan to shop is because of all the nasty trash that has infiltrated our fine town and ruined the Pavillion. Anything north of 54 is turning awful very fast. I don't know how to keep the trash out of here, so I gots no answers.

RKS
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Tacky Signage

#1 Our visits to the Olde Tavern were not good....horrible food.
#2 All the neon signs make the place look more like a redneck hang out
#3 I prefer the flags over the redneck signs
#4 People do not need to be walking around with alcohol in their hands, this is not Savannah
#5 The council needs to listen to what the citizens want, not what a bar owner wants...he's not the only bar owner in town.

ILuvFayette
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So, Mr Graves

is basically wanting the city to bring customers to his bar, ummm I mean restaurant, instead of him paying for advertising. Mr Graves comes across as being overly concerned about not being able to serve enough alcohol.

mudcat
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Well, well. Mainstreet must be proud

I don't think Mainstreet Fayetteville's ideals are reflected properly in Mr. Graves proposals.

I especially like this one
“We need more events on a regular basis and when we do we need to loosen up on the (alcohol) regulations to let people walk around with alcohol in designated areas around the square,” Graves said.

Ooookaaay!

RKS
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Agree
mudcat wrote:

I don't think Mainstreet Fayetteville's ideals are reflected properly in Mr. Graves proposals.

I especially like this one
“We need more events on a regular basis and when we do we need to loosen up on the (alcohol) regulations to let people walk around with alcohol in designated areas around the square,” Graves said.

Ooookaaay!

Agreed! We don't need to have events that encourage the drunk rednecks and ghetto trash to come and hang out, we need more events that bring out families and the decent people of this town.

ElizabethB
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You sound like someone who

You sound like someone who believes that families and decent people do not drink. If that is so, then who teaches your children to drink responsibly? The south does not have responsible public drinking because of people who think the way you sound.

RKS
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Hey Lizzy
ElizabethB wrote:

You sound like someone who believes that families and decent people do not drink. If that is so, then who teaches your children to drink responsibly? The south does not have responsible public drinking because of people who think the way you sound.

Decent families would not take their children out to events and drink because it's irresponsible. My parents drank responsibly, that means, at family events, everyone stayed sober and they did NOT take us top places where you might have drunks walking around with drinks in their hands. Duh....would you take your kids to Savannah during the Shamrock holiday for them to see all the drunks and would you take them to Mardi Gras to see the drunks showing their bosoms? Duh!

We do NOT need peeps drinking on the streets of Fayetteville.

Davids mom
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Walking Around with a 'drink'

What is this preoccupation with being able to walk around with a drink in your hand in public? Many are enjoying the restaurant on the square - why this PR attempt in the heart of the Bible Belt? It took the citizens of this area over 100 years to serve liquor on Sunday - don't push.

MYTMITE
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I agree with you completely, DM. It is not necessary to go

around with an alcoholic drink in your hand in order to enjoy an event. Why do some people continue to push and push? I rarely drink--not because I have any moral reasons but just because i can be just as happy with a coke or cup of coffee-but believe anyone who wants a drink with their meal or out for an evening should be able to have their drinks. Let's not carry it too far--

RKS
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Seriously
MYTMITE wrote:

around with an alcoholic drink in your hand in order to enjoy an event. Why do some people continue to push and push? I rarely drink--not because I have any moral reasons but just because i can be just as happy with a coke or cup of coffee-but believe anyone who wants a drink with their meal or out for an evening should be able to have their drinks. Let's not carry it too far--

I think it is irresponsible to be drinking like a fool in public with kids around. Got no objection to drinkin' like a fool in the appropriate places, but not on the streets...please!

AtHomeGym
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MyTmite

Sounds like th e "New Orleans" snydrome to me--Now I've been there and done that and I was just one of a lot of folks wandering the streets, listening to sounds coming out of various places and deciding where to stop next. Yeah, I bought a drink from a sidewalk vendor and sipped it as I wandered the street, deciding which establishment I wished to honor with my presence next! I even will admit to playing the Washboard in a couple of places with local bands (later at night)! But was it necessary? No. But the total atmosphere lends itself to that sort of activity a hell of a lot more than in downtown Fayetteville!

MYTMITE
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Know what you mean, Gym, love New Orleans and the ambience

but it is not Fayetteville---afraid we rednecks would have to undergo a lot of changes to become Lil N'leans. Loved the street musicians, artists and even the voodoo shops. And the beignets---ah, memories! All of New Orleans is geared toward just that type of living, alas, Fayetteville is not--maybe the gentleman should consider moving to New Orleans---probably have no problem there---On anothr note, I can just picture you playing the washboard! Have you ever seen one of the parades and bands going to and from funerals in N.O.? I was born and raised where African Americans did the same--loved it--can still hear the jazz bands playing "When The Saints Go Marching In" on the way in and on the way our after the services many times the song was "I'll Be Glad When You're Gone you Rascal You"! I lived fairly close to the cemetery and when we children (and many adults) heard the bands we would all run to the streets we knew the band and cortege would take to the cemetery. Everyone in the funeral procession would be dressed all in white, gloves, stockings, etc, with colorful sashes across their chests--very impressive--especially to a child--and it always seemed to be a happy occasion. Maybe they were really on to something!

Robert W. Morgan
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New Orleans progression is a step too far

I love to visit New Orleans as well and I'm glad it is right there - several hundred of miles away. Don't see the need to bring it here to Fayetteville. Maybe if Mr. Graves needs to push more intoxicants on the citizens of good old Fayette County, he should consider pushing drugs instead. High profit, low overhead. And the recipients can walk around (you know, really walk around, around) and around the square (or is it a circle) in Fayetteville.

RKS
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Better Beer Choices
Robert W. Morgan wrote:

I love to visit New Orleans as well and I'm glad it is right there - several hundred of miles away. Don't see the need to bring it here to Fayetteville. Maybe if Mr. Graves needs to push more intoxicants on the citizens of good old Fayette County, he should consider pushing drugs instead. High profit, low overhead. And the recipients can walk around (you know, really walk around, around) and around the square (or is it a circle) in Fayetteville.

I think the Olde Tavern might have better sales if they'd sell something besides Bud and Miller...how about some good microbrews on tap....would be nice to have something like the Brickstore Pub in Decatur come here.....huge beer menu and good food.

AtHomeGym
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Olde Tavern & Beer Selection

They're supposed to be carrying Jailhouse Brewery Beers from Hampton--try it, you'll like it! I parrticularly like their Mugshot IPA.