Brown Dog Pizza applies for a liquor license -- and the South Gaylord Neighborhood Association is doing what it can to make sure it doesn't get it

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Lori Midson
Moments after I'd pulled over to take the above snap, somewhat excited that South Gaylord Street -- the street on which I live -- was getting a new restaurant (and, suggestively, a liquor license), I opened my mail, only to find a full page rant, penned by the South Gaylord Neighborhood Association, imploring residents to "not sign any petitions or otherwise support a new liquor license at 1001 South Gaylord Street" -- the proposed site for Brown Dog Pizza, a Telluride-based piehole joint.

Browndogcomingsoon.jpg
Lori Midson
The reasons behind the association's push to kill the pizzeria's liquor license approval go something like this: There are "already six restaurant liquor licenses on this block, and the close neighbors overwhelmingly feel that there are already enough restaurant liquor licenses on this small business block"; the restaurant has space for approximately 100 seats and a patio, but "they won't have any on-site parking"; and then there was this: "We are not LoDo, Larimer Square or East Colfax. We believe we should not aspire to be like those neighborhoods."

According to the association, I'm a "stakeholder neighbor," which means I'm one of those "close neighbors" who "overwhelmingly" opposes the liquor license -- except that I don't. In fact, I'm all for it. Pizza and beer are like bees and honey, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump and a toupee. And so yesterday, when a man knocked on my door holding a petition to support Brown Dog Pizza's liquor license application, I happily signed it.

Is parking a problem on South Gaylord Street? No more so than on South Pearl Street, and the notion that an additional liquor license on the block is somehow going to turn the parking situation into a traffic snarl, is pure bunk. This is Wash Park, after all, where people are more apt to walk or bike than drive.

The letter goes on to ask how many South Gaylord Street liquor licenses are too many? Six? Eight or ten? Maybe twenty? And it points out that even South Pearl Street doesn't have a block with more than six liquor licenses, which is true -- but there are ten liquor licenses within the span of a block and a half: Kaos Pizza, India's Pearl, Pearl Street Grill, Sushi Den, Izakaya Den, Ototo, Gaia Bistro, Black Pearl, the Crushery and Budapest Bistro. And within spitting distance of those are the Village Cork, Lincoln's Roadhouse, Hansen's and Park Burger -- all of which have liquor licenses.

Of course, South Pearl Street also pimps much better restaurants than South Gaylord Street -- Devil's Food being the sole exception -- which leads me ask why the hell the South Gaylord Neighborhood Association doesn't focus its efforts on plumping the block with better restaurants, especially when the majority of them are terribly mediocre?

Instead, the association purports "that another 100-plus seat restaurant serving beer and liquor is not needed, desired or appropriate on Old South Gaylord," a statement that reads as though it was written by an old fart -- a statement that, if you ask the neighbors on my block, is wholly unsupported.

Brown Dog Pizza's fate on whether it can pour liquor, wine and beer will be determined on Wednesday, June 1, when it has a date with the department of excise and licensing. In the meantime, the owners were out in full force this weekend, serving free Neapolitan-style pizza to the neighbors.

Good dog.

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Brown Dog Pizza

1001 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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64 comments
Happy Neighbor
Happy Neighbor

Hi Patty and Lori - I hope that one of you attended the hearing last night and will report on it.  As is common for these hearings, we won't know the outcome for up to a month.  I was there and participated, I'm Mike Schneider and I was pleased to be permitted to cross examine witnesses, object to exhibits and testimoony and generally be treated with respect.  I took one shot at Brown Dog for their flyer wherein they accused me and my group of neighbors of false and misleading statements.  It was not right and I did not appreciate being accused of lying, particularly to several thousand of my neighbors.  It was the only real doozy all night. 

Otherwise, all of the evidence was admitted and all of the testimony was heard.  Brown Dog's lawyer, Alan Dill, shined more than anyone.  Gil's testomony on behalf of WPE was clear and clean.  Mac was his charming self and Raphael was very solid.  Tim testified that, if there are 50 businesses on the block, he would like to see all of them have liquor licenses.   Everyone however, generally agreed that there is plenty of supply of liquor on Old South Gaylord, which supported our position (the folks in opposition of the new license) that the "needs" side of the needs and desires equation is already met by the existing liquor licenses.  I did what I could to take "pizza, family style and variety" out of the equation, well, because this is not about pizza, kids or variety, it's about another liquor license for a very large restaurant on a very small block. 

The witnesses in opposition were likewise solid but more emotional.  Susan hit a home run asking the crowd what they will think when an intoxicated driver runs over a child.  There was testimony about parked cars getting wrecked by drunk drivers, public safety concerns about walking one or two blocks to your car late at night (not much of a problem for me, but I am not a young woman who may be more susceptible to attract the wrong type of attention), the convenience, or lack thereof, of walking to your car when there is snow and ice etc...all of the things that tend to restrict the amount of demand for liquor on Old South Gaylord.  Jane was good and did well with comments about the fact that Brown Dog does not have a plan for Valet Parking and may already be in violation of their Good Neighbor Agreement.  I mostly just tried to make sure that all of the evidence got admitted.  

My hope, and I believe the hope of most of my neighbors, is that 1) we don't have to go through this again any time soon and 2) that the extreme division here will begin to heal.  I think that Brown Dog created some of the division when they accused my group of lying in one of our newsletters.  The "lies" accusation became pretty common (see "Bike and Ski" below).  This is not appropriate for any neighborhood setting and the disrespect that arose from this has been uncomfortable, to say the least.  Some of the comments below (on both sides) are out of line, as were several of the emails sent to SGNA.  However, Lori - if you were at the hearing last night, you can now call me an old fart, with confidence, please just be respectful about it.  Cheers!

Community for Brown Dog Pizza
Community for Brown Dog Pizza

I am happy to hear that you have finally found the by-laws.  Not sure why it has taken you weeks to come up with.  How did you get voted to the president of the SGNA?  Why is the SGNA not registered.  Why do you tell residents that you are the president when your association is not registered.  The City Councilman's aid said that the last time SGNA was registered is when the restaurant Japon applied for their liquor license.  Can you comment on that pattern.  Why are the witnesses whom testified against the BDP liquor license hearing not members of the WPENA?  Are you a paying member ($20 annually)? 

Mr. Schnieder, perhaps you do not remember your meeting with the Brown Dog owners because you had alcohol on your breath (maybe to much to drink?).  Not sure why you stated in the hearing that you would happily drive to a food establishment and get a couple of drinks and then drive home.  Are you saying it is ok to drink and drive?  You can deny your Run the Brown Dog Guys out of town all you want but the fact is you said it, with two witnesses in the room. 

To clarify your money comment.  During your meeting with the Brown Dog guys you found it necessary to tell them how much money you make.  I am not sure why you felt this fact had any relevance in their liquor license or needed to tell those boys. 

There is a need for Brown Dog Pizza's concept and the fact that think they will fail and change their concept is disrespectful.  But coming out the other side of your mouth is that they have a 190 seat restaurant that is not needed on South Gaylord.  So you are saying 190 capacity is to much but at the same time they will fail and change their concept.  Make up your Mind! 

Have you read the Supreme Court ruling lately that the hearing officer quoted in his closing statement.  Are you a lawyer and what firm do you practice for?  For some reason you think that residents whom live closer to BDP are "stakeholders" and should have a louder voice.  But the Supreme Court decided otherwise. 

Thank you for your time and response to my questions.  It would be nice if you could answer them truthfully.  

Happy Neighbor
Happy Neighbor

Dear Community - you have such focus on the meeting that I had with Giles and Jeff, I must assume that you are either Giles of Jeff.  You have brought up some mildly interesting points that are also entirely irrelevant to the issues. 

You have also created somewhat of a conundrum.  The personal attacks reveal your anger and/or hatred for me.  This, however, is unlikely to gain your new establishment any new patrons or encourage respect from the neighbors.  The folks who already hate or dislike me will continue to do so.  However, I believe that the folks who may like me (or who may respect the fact that I put myself in the position of recieving the wrath of you and many neighbors) may be more likely to not patronize Brown Dog as a result of the anger and hatred being shown in this very public blog. 

The question here is - what do you stand to gain by this conduct?  Smearing me may be the emotional goal and give you some satisfaction, but as small business owners, the public nature of this conduct can not be rationally viewed as an attempt to help your larger cause.  Likewise, if you are someone who is very close to Jeff or Giles, to the extent that you know or think you know all of the details of a nealy hour long meeting over three months ago, you are certainly not scoring points for your boys, you are merely engaging in a distasteful and disrespectful smear campaign.  My thoughts and logic have very little import to this discussion anymore.  Our opposition to the liquor license was never about me, pizza or Brown Dog.  It's about our desire to not have another license for a big restaurant on this small block. 

The hearing is over.  I posted a summary of the hearing from my perspective.  I liked and appreciated the efforts of most of the witneses, the hearing officer, the assistant city attorney and Brown Dog's lawyer.  In return for that post, I have been needlessly attacked and smeared.  I don't understand the logic or the ultimate goal.  Here is a test for you, forward these posts to your family, friends and professional associates.  Ask them if they are proud of you for doing this.  In the meantime...

Was there anything about the hearing that you liked?  Do you have anything positive to say?  Are there details that I left out that would bring a good message about Brown Dog?  In my view, these questions would be the purpose of these new blog posts. 

Jeff
Jeff

I agree I have lived in WP for 20 years and have never been invited to be apart of the SGNA or new it existed??How can I join?

Gregory
Gregory

I'm a stakeholder neighbor (in total support of Brown Dog), the only time I have ever heard anything about the SGNA was when they sent out fliers against Brown Dog and their liquor license.  How can the overwhelming majority of us in favor of Brown Dog sign up for our so called neighborhood association (I am already a member of WPENA), so that the SGNA will truly be the voice of the neighborhood, not just the squeaky wheel? Can't wait for the Brown Dog to open up, couldn't have asked for anything better at that spot.

Unfortunate
Unfortunate

Mr. Schneider, I was at the hearing last night, and found your overall "tone" very distrespectful itself.  I beleive there is a right and wrong way to handle issues.  Myself, and others included, felt you handled yourself with a great deal of distrespect towards others.  You mentioned early on during the hearing that you were a "neutral party", however, your comments and approach were far from it.  My only hope is that some day when my family is larger and my children are older, and when my thoughts are that much more important, that you will be removed from the association to allow other people an opportunity to voice a truer reflection of the opinion of the neighhborhood.  Regardless the outcome, I believe it will be a long time before any healing takes place.

Happy Neighbor
Happy Neighbor

Unfortunate - Please understand, that I testified that the South Gaylord Neighborhood Association is neutral, based upon the results of a survey.  I was not neutral and did not purport to be.  As to the hearing procedure, cross examination has a specific purpose. 

Community for Brown Dog Pizza
Community for Brown Dog Pizza

EDITOR'S NOTE: We've edited out a name here at his request. Please keep your comments civil; we don't want to shut off discussion.

It was great to hear that Mike Schnieder was not elected to the WPENA last night. He calls himself the President of an unregistered neighborhood association. Yet he can't even produce the by laws of the association for public review. He also calls himself a neutral neighbor yet blasted the opposition. He told the owners of Brown Dog Pizza that he was going to "Run Them out Town" in addition to that they "better get ready for the fights of their lives". Oh yeah and even told them how money he made and some of his neighbors. He was unwilling to negotiate a Good Neighbor Agreement and declined several invitations to mediation, yet he has the audacity to be a critic of what voted members of his neigborhood association agreed upon.

Are these all misunderstandings? or is this a pattern of lies from a disrespectful person. please decide for yourselves.

If you were at the hearing you also heard a man by the name of REMOVED NAME BY REQUEST (under oath) state that he got signatures for his petition and by telling the neighbors that a "sports bar" was going to open. Then less then one minute later said no to the same question. Again please decide for yourself what type of character, SOME of the opposition have.

Happy Neighbor
Happy Neighbor

Community - I found the bylaws for SNGA.  I will email them to Raphael, I'm sure he can get them to you. 

I heard the "run them out of town" rumor, but I never said that.  I think that Jeff and Giles decided, somehow, that this was my message to them and conveyed it to others.   I did tell them my goal was to avoid the big fight, because it's a pain to fight like this.  This process certainly has been a marathon.  

I'm not sure about your money comment, it makes no sense to me.  I was very open and transparent with the Brown Dog guys from the very start.  I never lied to them or anyone else.  I never declined an invitation to the mediation.  I could not make the first meeting and was never informed about future meetings.  I did know, however, that I had nothing to mediate because the goal of mediation is compromise with an end result of a liquor license.  I felt that I had no good faith purpose to participate in mediation and I think that it was the correct position. 

Please understand that I agreed to support and speak for a group of neighbors who voted to not mediate.  As explained at the on-set, we wanted the opportunity to be heard at the Liquor Board hearing and we asked that WPE not undermine our efforts or quash our voice. Alll we can do is ask.  WPE did the exact opposite.  What I am I supposed to do?  Give up?  I believe that I met my commitment to support and speak for those neighbors who opposed the seventh liquor license on Old South Gaylord.  I believe that it is the right thing to do because the current supply of beer and liquor on the block is met by the existing licenses.   

So, what are the lies?  We have all seen the liar accusation, but no substance.  What gives?   

PJ at BDP
PJ at BDP

I work at brown dog pizza in telluride and its an amazing place. Smok (the owner) recently won 6th place in the World Pizza Competition for one of his pizzas. He takes his food very seriously. and for the people that are opposing him serving alcohol i have this to say. I talked with smoke and he doesnt want it to be a big sports bar style place, he understands that it is a family orrientated neighborhood, the bar is only gonna have 6 seats at it. he just wants people to be able to have beer or a glass of wine when they eat their food there. and as far as getting people to sign petitions for them smoke said they broke the record in denver for getting the most petitions for applying for a liquor liscence. So please support brown dog pizza it is an amazing place with amazing food and amazing people

CaptainColorado
CaptainColorado

We moved to WashPark from Candler Park - an "intown" neighborhood in Atlanta, GA - 9 years ago. We fully support BDP for a variety of reasons, but one is the fond memories we have of our years in Candler Park's local pizzeria, Felini's. Felini's was the social epicenter of Candler Park, especially for those with kids. It had a large outdoor patio (much like BDP is suggesting) and there was not a night when there weren't jersey-clad kids, fresh from their latest soccer or baseball game, racing all over the patio with their buds, while their parents enjoyed a pitcher of ice-cold Sweetwater 420 and caught up on anything and everything. 

BDP could be what no other restaurant on S Gaylord can be; a true family-friendly neighborhood fixture. And, as others have suggested, just maybe they'll force some of the others to up their culinary game. 

Gaylordfamily
Gaylordfamily

Does anyone know how to "get involved" to assure that BDP opens on Gaylord?

VIne Street rocks the house!
VIne Street rocks the house!

Come and support them at their liquor license hearing on June 13 at 6pm, 201 West Colfax, room 206. 

Bike and Ski
Bike and Ski

Its at 6 pm. on the 13th at the above address, We have a huge group of neighbors going. We all need to get our neighbors and show up for about an hour to help them out!!!

VIne Street rocks the house!
VIne Street rocks the house!

I drink alone, do you believe in democracy?  How about sales tax revenue and new jobs?  Or are you one of those people that say new business is great, but just not in my backyard?  How is it that you think you can control what business opens in a district zoned for business?  Why do you question the decisions of neighbors that volunteered to negotiate the Brown Dog Pizza People when you yourself rejected any type of negotiation.  I am proud to live in a country were the people vote and make decisions!  And on June 13 the people will vote yes for Brown Dog Pizza.  The very small voice of negativity will be squashed by the majority. 

Glad I live in Park Hil...
Glad I live in Park Hil...

I have no dog in this fight (pun only kind of intended.)  I live in Park Hill and almost never go to South Gaylord Street, although the Brown Dog may change that given how hard it is to find good pizza in this city.  But, it's worth noting that the person going by I Drink Alone has no original thoughts.  Every post is a copy and paste from this person's previous posts, which suggests that he/she is simply copying from a set of canned responses that has probably been distributed by the group opposing the Brown Dog.  Significantly, this inability to craft original arguments in response to well reasoned points made in support of the Brown Dog indicates that the opposition is not very well thought out.  If there was any legitimacy to the opposition to the Brown Dog, the argument would evolve to address the counter-arguments made herein.  That hasn't happened.

I Drink Alone, to answer your inevitable retort:  Three.  I need three pizza restaurants with a bar in your neighborhood.

Wash Park mom
Wash Park mom

Um...errr...Gaylord is not a suburb - notice my address is Denver, not Wheat Ridge.  Here's why I live here...kids...strollers....ice cream...shops...AND (shocking) the ability to walk to restaurants, and some of them might serve BEER!  

I have two thoughts for those of you who act like this is putting a whorehouse den of sin with no parking on your corner 1) if a pizzeria that serves alcohol is tops on your list of things to campaign against, I have some sexually suggestive TV shows that you should probably complain to your senator about since you can't possibly stop your kids from watching it own your own and 2) should have bought a house with a garage - that's what I did.  Quit whining and ruining it for the rest of us.

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

O.K. kind hearted woman.  Let's take it from the top, one more time.

How many restaurants with a full bar on the Old South Gaylord block will be enough for you?  You have five now.

How many kid friendly pizza restaurants with a full bar within walking distance will be enough for you?  You have two now: Saucy Noodle (see above) and Bonnie Brae Tavern. 

Relax.  There are moms in the world worse off than you.

So I'll let you work on the T.V. shows.  I have to clean out my garage.  I've been here a while.

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

Woman with the blues, take two.  From the top.

How many restaurants with a full bar on the Old South Gaylord block will be enough for you?  You have five now.

How many kid friendly pizza restaurants with a full bar within five blocks of Old South Gaylord Street will be enough for you?  You have two now:  Saucy Noodle (see above) and Bonnie Brae Tavern.  I tried to get a Google map for you but failed.

Relax.  There are moms in the world worse off than you.

So I'll let you work on the T.V. shows.  I have to clean out my garage.  I've been here a while.

I drink with my neighbors!
I drink with my neighbors!

Hey I drink alone you cantankerous old pile of shit.... The tavern is the wost offender on the block there's a frat brawl outside at closing almost every weekend because they over serve all of their 21 Y.O. clientele.  you wouldn't know because Matlock ends at 8pm right before your evening colonic and bedtime... maybe that's something you should look into

Gaylord Family
Gaylord Family

The pizza is awesome and I have spent many great evenings with my children at the BD in Telluride.  I live on S Gaylord, have kids and will be supporting this full throttle.  If you don't like food and beverages on the block move away and and find a retirement community...

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

Is there a South Gaylord Street in Telluride?

It's 5:00 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  My brown dog and I just came back from a walk along three South Gaylord Street blocks:  Old South Gaylord Street and the block north and south of it.

I thought about all these Gaylord Family Neighbor monotone letters.  It is hard to see the residents of these wabi-sabi Craftsman Bungalows and Denver Squares and I don't know any more architecture names having such a positive relationship with a Telluride pizza restaurant that they would trade for a sixth bar on the block.

I did see yellow "Enough Is Enough" signs in front of four homes that must have been 100 years old.

What a price.

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

Gaylord  Family, you poor disadvantaged family.  How many bars within walking distance would be enough for you?  How many more than the five now on Old South Gaylord Street?  If you want more you could stroll five blocks from Old South Gaylord Street to yes, kid friendly Bonnie Brae Tavern or the Saucy Noodle and drink and eat pizza.  It is a neighborhood tradition.  Plenty of parking, no neighbors to bother.  Sorry I haven't seen you there.  Oh yeah, you were in Telluride.

Gaylord Family, we are talking about the hard stuff.  Old South Gaylord Street is one of the last old-style family friendly commercial blocks in Denver.  Some families think it's their God given right to ruin things.

Stephen Baker
Stephen Baker

"I drink alone:"  Opposing the total number of liquor licenses rings hollow and leaves me asking for more detail.  Why do I see these identical bullet points over and over again from the (very few - at least that I know) Wash Park residents that oppose Brown Dog's application??  It's just not a relevant comparison.  As I have said before (in other communication & forums with Brown Dog opposers), you can't compare Devil's Food and their liquor license to the Tavern's liquor license and the Tavern's volume.  Devils Food is a bakery and the majority of their business is complete in the earlier hours of the day... but they hold one of the "precious liquor licenses."  Japon's bar area is tiny.  I was there Saturday night with about a total of 7-8 other Japon patrons and we were a bit cramped and crowded at the bar.  You can't compare Japon's bar area and drinking capacity to that of Wash Park Grill.  Yet your comparison of using a single liquor license assumes equal capacity, weight and equal impact on the neighborhood which is frankly flawed and an incomplete measurement.

The truth is that our neighborhood has a lot to gain by Brown Dog joining our restaurant options on Old South Gaylord... and if you've been on Old South Gaylord in the evenings recently, you may have noticed the available parking capacity.  You may have also noticed a few of us regular Old South Gaylord patrons wanting something more, something new and creative for our food options... perhaps something with outdoor eating, dog friendly (if only in principal) and conscientious and considerate owners willing to compromise when and where appropriate and a staff dedicated to excellence in food and service delivery...  as I have said before, we could do a lot (A LOT) worse than Brown Dog Pizza.  Seriously, folks, maybe it's time we agree to support this very impressive small business venture and welcome Brown Dog into our great neighborhood?  

I suspect in the long run we will all be very thankful to have them as part of our neighborhood.  I encourage all Wash Park residents to please support the new small business - please welcome Brown Dog Pizza to Washington Park East.   Stephen

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

Steven Baker, if you don't start drinkin' (I'm gonna leave).

So now we have seven bars.  How many more than seven bars and two pizza restaurants within walking distance would make you happy?

Stephen Baker
Stephen Baker

"I Drink Alone:"   Puzzling response - I'm unsure of your point.  If you haven't seen me at Saucy Noodle it's because you weren't there.  Feel free to inquire within - Nathan (owner & friend) & his wife.  Be sure to also ask Jessica & Katie about me... long time servers who have become personal friends over the many years as a customer... so, yes, I'm well aware of the Saucy Noodle... and they are well aware of me - as a friend and customer... now, what was your point? Seriously, is there a point to be made here or are you just trying to offend everyone on this discussion board?

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

Steven Baker, who has lived in Washington Park a very long time, let me pass.

Steven Baker, you poor disadvantaged man.  How many bars within walking distance would be enough for you?  How many more than the five now on Old South Gaylord Street?  If you want more you could stroll five blocks from Old South Gaylord Street to Bonnie Brae Tavern or the Saucy Noodle and drink and eat pizza.  It is a neighborhood tradition.  Plenty of parking, no neighbors to bother.  Sorry I haven't seen you there.

Kimberly
Kimberly

So, this alcohol being served at the Brown Dog is somehow 'harder' than the sake they serve at Japon? Or the $7 bottomless mimosas they serve at Max Bar & Grill? Or the three-olive vodka drinks The Tavern is famous for? How about the mixed drinks at the Wash Park Grille?

I don't see how a pizza place with the option of selling alcohol is going to throw this neighborhood into a drunken frat party...especially since the neighborhood seems to be managing the other establishments quite nicely. Give your neighbors some credit. They can drink, raise a family, and be reasoned simultaneously. I know...amazing!!

The most amusing part is that the same neighbors who scream bloody murder about their diminishing quality of life are singing from the rooftops when they see that their property values skyrocket by their location and vicinity to Old South Gaylord. You can't have it both ways, NIMBYism isn't attractive.

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

I agree Kimberly.  A bar is a bar.  They serve some mighty drinks at the five bars on Old South Gaylord Street.

Where we disagree is I know to stop at five.  That's my weakness. 

Carrie
Carrie

We had the free pizza that same weekend - it is AWESOME!  Finally, a great pizza place in Denver.  We are also considered "stakeholder" neighbors and couldn't be more thrilled to have Brown Dog on the block.  I'm seriously disappointed that some of the neighbors are fighting this place.  Bring on the Brown Dog - show up on June 1st!

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

Carrie, what does wanting great pizza have to do with wanting a bar that can sell you one bourbon, one scotch, one beer until 2:00 in the morning?

Carrie
Carrie

Well, since you "drink alone" you might find some friends at this bar open until 2 am : ) 

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

Actually, on second thought, I'll change my style. 

I Drink Alone
I Drink Alone

Shades of Dan Quayle!

It was great to see Charlie Brown quote John Kennedy while taking a stand on a sixth bar on Old South Gaylord Street.

And what is your stand on enforcing the existing liquor regulation in Washington Park proper?  Don't you see the rows of drinking games where Wash Park kids used to play? 

Neighbor
Neighbor

Charlie Brown is NOT a John Kennedy.... 

Happy Neighbor
Happy Neighbor

 I would love to see this old garage or some other space on Gaylord turned into one of those carshare co-op programs.  People complain about parking around there.  A co-op would allow people in this area to get rid of their second car.  The neighborhood seems progressive, I'll bet that people would love to reduce their carbon footprint and sell their car.  The convenience of walking to the co-op to get an economical low emmission car for short term use would be great.  Heck, it would also take cars off of the streets and allow more room for parking.  This is the wave of the future.  The city could help convert a lot of old garages in neighborhoods to these co-ops and help get lots of cars off of the streets.  Wouldn't this help solve lots of problems?

Green Lover
Green Lover

I like it! Make it a duel purpose entity. Green cars and tropical flowers stand. Is not anyone considering the carbon footprint that this pie hole will be spewing from the wood fired ovens?

Ben
Ben

Lori, this is where Justin Brunson and I wanted to put our new restaurant.   Do you think the neighborhood would like that?

davebarnes
davebarnes

As a neighbor (I live 3 blocks away in Bonnie Brae) I support Brown Dog.Who are these NIMBYs who want to destroy potential jobs in our city?I have no idea what BDP's food is like and do not care at this juncture.Let's focus on "imagining a great city" with full employment.

I have been approached by the NIMBYs twice and consider them to be obstructionist buttholes.

SG Neighbor
SG Neighbor

I live on South Gaylord as well (2 blocks away), I’m a member of WPENA, and I enthusiastically support Brown Dog Pizza (and signed the petition as well).  Good luck – I would love to have them as our new neighbor.

Dan5280
Dan5280

Good pie? A cold brew? What's not to love?And to think that you approved a chain "concept" restaurant (Tavern) but now threaten to shut out a local is pure nonsense. 

c bointner - "7 liquor licenses on 1 block is more than enough.". I disagree with your opinion, I just can't wait to ride my bike down there with my daughter to enjoy a slice.

Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown

Thanks to Lori and all the respondents for your reasonable and rational response to the Brown Dog Pizza Story. To clear up any issues, I recommended mediation between Brown Dog Pizza and the registered neighborhood organization, Washington Park East Neighborhood Association. I was pleased they were able to work out a thoughtful compromise on a variety of issues. The anti-Brown Dog Pizza contingent refused to attend the meeting, stating they had nothing to mediate. The unwillingness to negotiate reminds me of JFK’s 1960 inaugural address when he said “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” It is too bad that they didn’t heed Presidents Kennedy’s sagacious advice.

Councilman Charlie Brown

c bointner
c bointner

 Many residents have lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years and that building has been a quiet business for > 20 years.  A restaurant/bar with a patio is a noisy nuissance.  A "sound" fence which I doubt will blunt noise on only 1 side is nuts.  There are approx. 900 seats in the existing restaurants. Add employee parking for retail/office.  Valet has 40 spaces.  Valet parking is not allowed on residential streets.  Brown Dog has 100 seating capacity.  These cars have to park somewhere.  Lack of parking discourages business. 7 liquor licenses on 1 block is more than enough. Brown Dog will be 8.  Furthermore, WPENA  did not have a majority favorable vote supporting a liquor license.  Several board members obstained and that was counted as a favorable vote. Yes, mawhit, a few WPENA board members with their own agenda purport to speak for the entire neighborhood! 

l luv wash park
l luv wash park

While Devils Food has a beer and wine license, they aren't even open for dinner on the weekends. The WPENA vote for the Brown Dog Good Neighbor agreement was 2 in favor, 1 oppose, and 2 abstained. Everyone knows what when you abstain, you are agreeing to not vote, and are agreeing with whatever outcome will be. Abstaining in this matter is just like not voting in the presidential election, and then complaining about who wins the presidency. Read Roberts Rules of Order which is a standard that is used in all voting situations, including the federal government. Further, South Gaylord Neighborhood Association IS NOT EVEN A REGISTERED NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, and therefore is not only misrepresenting themselves as a neighborhood association, but also in purporting that they represent "the stake holders". A neighborhood association collects dues, appoints a board, has monthly meetings, and does positive things for the neighborhood too. It is actually comical that you claim that WPENA is pushing their agenda as self serving, while SGNA published two newsletters with false information asking everyone to oppose brown dog, called the Fire Dept on the owners while they were making pizza, wasting tax money. Hopefully, the fire fighters weren't late to a real call for help as a result of the false alarm someone phoned in. While you have a right to oppose or support Brown Dog, publishing lies and misinformation only discredits your character and reasoning.

Stephen Baker
Stephen Baker

I've lived in Washington Park a very long time.  Truly, I don't understand the logic of opposing Brown Dog Pizza. 

I think most agree the owners have gone our of their way to accommodate the concerns of the few that oppose the business.  I can tell you first-hand that Brown Dog's Pizza is some of the best pizza I have ever had.  Many agree that it would provide a (perhaps needed) spark to our restaurant options on South Gaylord - possibly shake up a few other restaurant menus (for the better - a notable benefit to all, including the other restaurants). 

The parking concerns are not new and are not likely to be altered dramatically by this new business.  When Las Margaritas closed down (now Tavern) were people celebrating in the streets for the newly available parking??  No.  When Chi & later Tavern opened up was there chaos created by the lack of parking... no, not that I could notice anyway.  Is Brown Dog going to send the neighborhood into a parking frenzy...  not likely, it's just so unlikely to happen.  Were any of those that oppose Brown Dog up on South Gaylord last Friday night?  I was.  It was dead...completely dead.   There were very few people in the restaurants and even fewer people seated at the bars.  Did you have trouble finding parking??  No.  Wide open.  Where was the "parking celebration" last weekend... you guys could have come out and parked in and out of nearly every spot on the street... did you come out and enjoy it all??  Probably not - you weren't there to celebrate your coveted parking spots.  Very few were there at all. We are (by far) over-emphasizing the parking issue, in my opinion.

I'm concerned that a few people in the vicinity of Old South Gaylord are using this opposition process as a way to define themselves in the neighborhood - that this is "their issue" ... unfortunately, though, creating a new persona for themselves actually puts a highly sought after, sincere, accommodating, high-quality business at risk that many in this neighborhood support and would enjoy.

The short of it is, as a long-time Wash Park East resident, I can't tell you how excited/hopeful I am (and many, MANY of my neighbors are too) that Brown Dog Pizza's liquor license application will be APPROVED and Brown Dog Pizza will become a reality for all of us in Washington Park.  I have found so very few people that oppose this application (at least I haven't found many of them/or I don't know many people who oppose this) - most people I talk to are overwhelmingly supportive of this great food option for Wash Park/Old South Gaylord.

How awesome - AWESOME - it would be to have Brown Dog Pizza become a lasting business partner for our neighborhood & residents! 

We absolutely support Brown Dog Pizza!  

Rwrwildcat
Rwrwildcat

100% agree. Brown Dog rocks. We live in Wash Park too and deal with the parking issue. If you don't like the heat of the pizza oven, then move. The complainers knew they were moving into a retail area. Also, in my opinion inappropriate for one of the only people complaining about this to be the president of the Gaylord st association who lives just across the street from Brown Dog...how self serving.

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