Pop the Cork: Liquor Moratorium on Cherokee Street Comes to an End

Feb 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm
As reported yesterday in the Cherokee Street News, the moratorium prohibiting alcohol sales on parts of Cherokee Street in south St. Louis has ended.

A board bill passed last week excludes a three-block stretch of Cherokee (from Iowa Avenue to Nebraska Avenue) from the so-called Twentieth Ward Liquor Control District.

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Last May, Alderman Craig Schmid (Ward 20) angered many business owners along Cherokee when he introduced legislation that would re-instate for thee years the liquor moratorium he first passed in the mid-1990s.

Under that law, a bar or restaurant wanting to sell alcohol must earn at least half its revenue from food. (Bar owners argue that the equation is next to impossible to achieve.)

The bill passed last week keeps the 50 percent quota for other areas in the ward excluding Cherokee Street. Alderman Schmid tells me that he also wiped from the bill provisions calling for business owners to provide off-street parking and security cameras in order to receive a liquor license.

"There is no legislation dealing with security, noise or litter," says Schmid. "Hopefully anyone who opens an establishment won't need that type of legislation. They'll be respectful of the area and good neighbors."

Steve Smith, owner of the Royale Food & Spirits on South Kingshighway, may be one of the first entrepreneurs to open a new watering hole on the street. Smith owns a building on Iowa and Cherokee and is working on financing to renovate the building into a tavern.