City officials denied Osaka House privilege to provide entertainment and discussed permits and entertainment licenses for others local venues Wednesday.
Committee members unanimously agreed to deny the Osaka House on State Street an entertainment license to legalize the restaurant’s adjoining nightclub. The owner of the Osaka House said he was not initially aware of a new ordinance which requires all entertainment venues to have an entertainment license, regardless of capacity.
However, officials from the Madison Police Department said they briefed the owner of the new ordinance prior to its installment. Police officials said the owner continued to operate illegally and was prosecuted for violating the ordinance.
“We affirm the establishment to be not in compliance with the entertainment license but also on many occasion to be overcapacity and not providing a safe environment for the community in their operations,” a representative from the police department said.
In response to the ordinance, the Osaka House owner said he is now applying for a license to appease the ordinance, and agreed to pay penalties for “mistakes and confusions” in regards to continuing entertainment.
However, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the committee had given the owner too many chances and motioned to deny the license.
“Osaka House has been a frustration of mine for several years now and I don’t quite understand why we can’t solve the dilemma there,” Verveer said. “It’s contrary to the health, safety and welfare of the community for this entertainment license to be granted.”
The council also approved WORT radio station to potentially move its 17th annual block party from its original venue at 600 W. Doty St. to 100 Martin Luther King Junior Blvd. WORT owners requested the move due to insufficient signatures for a permit at the original location, signatures they expect to receive in coming days.
Verveer encouraged his colleagues to approve the permit during Common Council’s next meeting.
“I want to stress to my colleagues on the committee I believe this is a very rare, special case,” Verveer said. “This has been a ‘non-event’ event from the public safety perspective, so much so police no longer require Madison police officers be hired as special duty for this event.”
Committee members also addressed concerns from Madison Street residents about the excessive noise and parking density caused by patrons accessing Monroe Street.
The owner of Crescendo Espresso Bar & Music Cafe on Monroe Street responded to community concerns by raising awareness of the noise disturbances among the Monroe Street establishments with a logo for all the businesses on the street to use, reading “Nightlife is different for everyone, please respect our neighbors when you leave.”
Ald. Lisa Subeck, District 1, said she applauded the initiative to bring awareness to Monroe Street clienteles.
“I think it is an incredible step and something that really does seek to the issue and reminds people to be respectful,” Subeck said. “It has potential for broader reach than Monroe Street.”