Council denies serving area expansion for Lavelle's Taphouse

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - At Monday's meeting the Fairbanks City Council heard from patrons of Lavelle's Taphouse as the council reviewed a request from owner, Arlette Eagle, for an extension of the restaurant premises for the alcohol service area.
Julia Laude reports.
Julia Laude; Reporting>>: Those who spoke on the extension gave mostly positive testimony.
David van der Berg; Exec. Dir., Downtown Association>>: "Look at this in terms of, this is an opportunity to show your support for the downtown revitalization embody in a single business who wants to try new things and take risks."
Vivian Stiver; Fairbanks>>: "The Taphouse is extremely popular. I hear about it from a lot of my younger friends and they think it's great and it's back a lot for the downtown."
Kathryn Dodge; Borough Assembly>>: "It adds a sense of vibrancy. It adds a sense of liveliness. We see ourselves, our community flowing out of it."
Julia Laude; Reporting>>: And while the majority of city departments agreed that the extension could be beneficial, safety was an issue.
Mayor Jim Matherly; City of Fairbanks>>: "Last year was successful but it was definitely a one off because Noble was closed. It's not the exact same situation as last year. Police, the fire department, they all said wonderful lady to work with but they want to err on the side of safety and liability of the city. That was a general consensus."
Julia Laude; Reporting>>: Councilmen Jerry Cleworth also brought up the issue of street parking.
Jerry Cleworth; Fairbanks City Council>>: "There's a lot of competition in the core for parking spaces. In front of my business I watch it all day long. Unfortunately some businesses play musical cars, we call it, moving their cars every two hours trying to beat the tickets. It puts pressure on those spots in front of all the other stores."
Julia Laude; Reporting>>: The request was ultimately denied but it did get the wheels turning for Mayor Matherly.
Mayor Jim Matherly; City of Fairbanks>>: "I'm going to suggest and I'm going to work with David and we should work with the council to close off all of second avenue, not all the time but a chance for Jerry to get out there and sell and a chance for anybody else to get out there and sell on second avenue so it's not just one business but all the businesses. I think that revitalizes downtown."
This is Julia Laude reporting.