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Tosa commission members curb Mad Dog Saloon's plan to move next to grocery

Feb. 8, 2011

Permitting Mad Dog Saloon to move into a strip mall at 68th and State streets would put public safety and the success of the grocery store next door at risk, the Plan Commission ruled Monday night

The panel unanimously voted to deny a request by Dominic Lalicata to open Mad Dog Saloon in the building that houses Applebee's, 6750 W. State St. However, the plan is not dead because the commission only has advisory power. The Community Development Committee is the next stop Feb. 22.

If patrons who have imbibed in alcohol drive through the busy parking lot shared by Metcalfe's Market, it could result in disaster, commissioners said Monday night.

The shopping carts, cars backing in and out and parents with young children in tow are the norm in the lot that sees peak business of 300 to 400 customers per hour between 4 and 8 p.m. Friday and up to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, said grocery store owner Kevin Metcalfe.

Those busy times overlap with the 6 to 7 p.m. period that Rebecca Boyle, attorney for Mad Dog, called prime time for the bar.

Boyle tried to show Mad Dog is not too different from Applebee's. She didn't expect to see a greater need for parking since the building footprint and capacity would not change.

Metcalfe said they didn't believe this was a restaurant that would be putting an emphasis on food. While there was much speculation among attendees as to what kind of problems permitting the saloon to move in would cause, he saw the potential impact on his business as the biggest threat.

"Any perception of trouble is going to become a reality when people decide to shop somewhere else, Metcalfe said.

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