When the owners of a new Central West End business picked their historic Euclid Avenue location for expansion, they likely did not expect the greeting they got from neighbors: a formal petition protesting their liquor license application.
It’s signed by about two dozen people in the area, who worry about what it would mean for their neighborhood. Though this location is near several other restaurants and pubs, they are concerned that the “bar” branding would draw traffic, noise, and a crowd.
Wednesday morning, they will meet with Up Down's owners for a hearing before the St. Louis excise commission.
Up Down outlined a list of changes, like offering family hours and hosting charity events---and enforcing quiet hours and parking rules.
But to some, that might not be enough.
“I think it’s just a different kind of setup. It’s basically a big bar where people are going to be spending a lot of time both doing the games or drinking,” said Annette Appell, who lives nearby. “Other places with the liquor licenses are really—there’s very few bars here. There’s restaurants. It doesn’t fit here.” Like many others, she says she concerned about people who’ve been drinking walking around the neighborhood streets after closing time.
The owner of the property, long-time Central West End businessman Pete Rothschild, told us the following in a statement:
“The Central West End is a walking community brimming with new vitality as St. Louis becomes increasingly known as a technology hub. Most denizens of these sorts of neighborhoods expect to have the types of entertainment, services and social interaction that come with living and working in a place like this. This does not mean that personal taste would not be a factor in whether or not one chooses to patronize an establishment, but attempting to prevent Updown from doing business, I feel, should be based not on personal taste but whether or not there is really a negative impact on the area as to livability and desirability.
Everything I have found about this business tells me the exact opposite, that an Updown has proven in all their other locations to be fine, considerate, and appreciated good neighbors. They’re responsible and are considered by neighboring residents and businesses to be a plus to their communities. Add to that the willingness and responsiveness of the owners and management of Updown to address the specific concerns residents have regarding their licensing and operation, indicates to me that they are going to be a positive addition for the area, neighborhood and city in general.”
Other nearby business owners and managers tell 5 On Your Side they support Up Down, hoping their location will only help theirs.
After the excise commission meeting, both sides will come together again in 30 days.