New Mexico-based Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza intends to open its second Denver location (they’ve been ensconced at 550 Broadway for several years now) at 1001 S. Gaylord St., former site of The Last Detail garden shop, and before that, the long-time home of Rudy’s Automotive Repair.
An attempt to secure a full liquor license – allowing spirts as well as beer and wine – was the undoing of Brown Dog Pizza, a Telluride company that had hoped to make their home at that same address, before giving up their quest for a liquor license following a full frontal assault by a vocal group of neighborhood residents.
Il Vicino had hardly a hiccup in the process of acquiring a license to dispense malt and vinous beverages (beer and wine to you layfolk), but a lawsuit has been filed by some of the same folks who opposed the Brown Dog application, asking that a Denver District Court judge overturn the decision by Denver’s Director of Excise and Licenses, Tom Downey, to approve the license request.
Mike Schneider is president of the S. Gaylord Neighborhood Association. He explained that his group has remained neutral on the license proposals. “We’ve taken numerous surveys over the years I’ve been involved,” Schneider stated. “And they all come out the same. About 25 percent say they don’t like the idea; another 25 percent are in favor; and about half of those we survey don’t really care one way or the other.”
While the group itself has not taken an official position, numerous members have been active as individuals in opposing any additional liquor licenses on S. Gaylord St.
Schneider, an attorney, is “confident on the issues of law involved here. I’m not an appellant in the suit,” he said, “but among the overall objections are, that there are already six liquor licenses on the 1000 block of S. Gaylord St. The law is that if existing licenses meet a reasonable need, you don’t grant another. Period. The existing licenses can cover 880 patrons. I would think that meets the need.
“There is also a subtlety to the rules of evidence,” said Schneider. “The judge is to keep speculation out of evidence. In many situations, concerns of parking or traffic are not admissable because it’s speculation – you don’t really know what’s going to take place in the future. But in this case, we know. We’re already living with traffic problems and parking problems. Another license is just going to make things worse.”
No word yet on when the matter will be heard in court, but stay tuned. We’ll let you know the latest.