by Jeff Hahne
We thought this issue went away, but it's rising up from the ashes to provide headaches to area restaurant owners and musicians once again.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Department is holding several meetings, the next one is on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m., to address the current regulations of restaurants, nightclubs, bars and lounges. The most recent proposal being discussed would eliminate sources of entertainment inside such establishments after midnight if they are within 400 feet of residential areas. The city is concerned that some restaurants may technically meet the current definition of a nightclub, bar or lounge.
The Charlotte Zoning Ordinance currently defines a nightclub as any commercial establishment serving alcoholic beverages and providing entertainment for patrons including bars, lounges and cabarets. A restaurant is defined as an establishment designed, in whole or in part, to accommodate the consumption of food and/or beverages.
As we stated last year when this subject was brought up -
For establishments in areas such as Elizabeth (Kennedy's, Philospher's Stone, etc.), Plaza Midwood (Snug Harbor, Common Market, etc.) and locations outside of uptown, this would mean no live or recorded music, no karaoke, no comedians, no playing pool or other entertainment-related activities after midnight. (In other words, it would affect some of the city's better music clubs in some of its more artistically adventurous neighborhoods. Uptown establishments would not be affected.) Does anyone else hear the Footloose theme song in their head?
The Jan. 24 meeting will be held in room 267 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center (CMGC), 600 E. Fourth St.