South Siders tell LCB 'enough already' to bar scenesA hell raising meeting was held last week on this issue. Jeff Koch didn't attend and he should have been there.
South Side residents and business owners say they are dismayed, but not surprised, that another orange 'public notice of application' for transfer of a liquor license has appeared on East Carson Street.
The notice of the pending application at 1311 East Carson has drawn a spate of protest letters to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
'Just what we need, another watering hole,' wrote Charles Nogal, who owns a ceramics business across the street. 'I think it is time to say enough already.'
The meeting's prime presenter was Bruce Krane. Bruce Kraus was there and couldn't even keep his lips shut after being told to hold all questions and comments to the end, already. Yeah, we all know it is okay to call 9-1-1. Mr. Krane did do a nice job with the meeting.
We have a bar task force now on the South Side. It got decent coverage in the South Pittsburgh Reporter too. I'm sure that this group is making people quake in their boots now.
Presently, the South Side is over-run with bars.
Well, there isn't such a thing as a 'bar' in terms of the LCB (Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board). There are places to eat and some of these place can serve drinks. Every 'bar' on the South Side, and wherever else, needs to be able to deliver 30 hot meals to qualify as a joint that meets LCB requirements. That's like three packs of hot dogs and a hot plate, -- check.
We all agree that there are too many bars. But, not all of us agree on what to do about it. I'm a freemarket guy and made the observation after the meeting to any who might care to listen that 20 to 40 of these 200-or-more bars on the South Side are going to go out of business as soon as the gambling casino opens. Perhaps the slots parlor is granted to South Side's Station Square, then what!
You won't need a 'bar task force' to thin out the competition in a few months.
So, as I see it: There are short term worries. Then there are long-term worries.
Task force actions need to think about life here, before and after the casino opens.
Many of the bars are on the brink. Some have gone out of business. It is hard to keep the lights on and make a decent income when there are so many places. They are eating each other's hope for any of them to have a sustained business.
Frankly, the ones that are now just getting opened, are here way to late. They'll spend money on the re-hab and ramp-up. They'll not have a decent ROI (Return On Investment). They'll need to do something 'special' to survive in this marketplace. Otherwise they'll die.
Perhaps 20 will not be able to meet payroll. Perhaps some others will have their gas cut as they've slid on their bills. Some might need to churn with new owners as there are always new suckers who think that they want to own a cool venue in a hot area. There will be some corrections and they'll come from the invisible hand of the competitive forces of the marketplace.
Gotta run for now.