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.
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.
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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.