Elkton Town Meeting, Sept. 15, 2010 — Irishtown Brewing Company asked the town for permission to allow consumption of alcohol outside in the parking lot of the tavern at the corner of Elkton Blvd and Bridge Street in Elkton on bike nights. If given the go-ahead, the establishment would allow those attending bike nights on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to take drinks outside, Michael McKinney advised the board.
After listening to the request several elected officials had questions. Asking for more detail, Commissioners Givens said “How will you police the event?” As Michael outlined measures, including security and ongoing monitoring of activities, he assured the board anyone breaking rules was “out of there.” That’s one of the reasons, he continued, “the point of sale of the alcohol will be inside” since it helps control things.
After Commissioner Piner asked about concerns neighbors might have, Commissioner Givens followed up. “Just to be clear you have not received a consensus from the neighborhood . . . I think there are a lot of people [living] behind you. I think it’s important to talk to a lot of them.” Michael said he would start right away. “I wish that was last week” Commissioner Piner remarked. “Anytime you mix alcohol and bikes, I’ve got a concern,” Commissioner Hicks added as he asked about clarification on the bike shows and bike nights.
Commissioner Jablonski drew on her experience as the director of the Elkton Alliance to urge the other elected officials to approve the request. “I’m constantly asked for a bike show. I think the word biker has changed over the past several years. But there’s a lot of people that’s putting a lot of money in these bikes and they want to show them off. I understand you are new in business and it is something that’s going to bring you business because I know how well we do downtown with the car show. I think it’s something we should look at to see how it goes. I understand where you’re coming from.”
After the queries were answered, Commissioner Jablonski moved to approve outside consumption of alcohol at Irishtown Brewing Company for a two-week trail and Commissioner Piner seconded the motion. The request was approved in a split 3 to 2 vote as Mayor Fisona joined the other two in supporting the request. Commissioners Givens and Hicks voted nay.
This is a standard voting block that frequently showed up under the old board as Commissioner Piner and Mayor Fisona followed Commissioner Jablonski’s lead. Commissioner Givens voted independently, and while Mr. Hicks is new to the board he has twice taken independent stances as he weighed public policy questions.