Thursday, March 12, 2009

Skybox Set to Re-Open--For Now

It feels like deja vu typing these words, but it now appears Skybox will be re-opening. The PPH:

The Zoning Board of Appeals ruled last night
the city’s code enforcement officer erred when he declined to grant [co-owner
Allen] Moore an occupancy permit in late January. Code Enforcement Officer
Richard Gouzie said a change to the building--walling off the kitchen-- prevented
him from granting the Moores a permit. The ruling ends approximately
eight months
of wrangling
between the city and Moore,
who has vowed to improve the bar’s reputation. He said he lives in the
neighborhood and has an incentive to keep the bar from getting rowdy.
(Update: The AJ has its own blurb on the matter.)


- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Skybox Timeline (February 13, 2009)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

really really sad.

Lynn M (Skybox) said...

What is really sad is the misconception of the establishment, I’ve never heard anyone who frequented the place say it was a bad place, I only hear people who really have never entered the establishment so really have no basis to judge. 99% of the people that went there were honest decent people. It was a place a lot of self employed, small business owners, professionals, and retired & blue collar workers could come together and enjoy good food, conversation, or a game of pool and relax at the end of the day or week. They naysayers imply that the bar problems spilled out into the neighborhood and created problems, but even by testimony at the zoning meeting those problems are still there and may always be there. What really happens is sometimes the neighborhood problems spill into the bar and that is what needs to be addressed.
I also want to point out if there was a problem apartment building in the area would everyone be so negative if a new owner and/or management company was coming in to take over. No I bet people would say you know that building needs is better management. So why not give other honest and hardworking people a chance to run reputable business with support from the community. If everyone could judge the Skybox based on the performance going forward the success rate may be better, but the ghost of the past seem to haunt the place. Can anyone think of any other business that with a new owner and/or management wouldn’t have been giving more support and a better chance of success? You know how many jobs were lost when that bar closed? When you put the store and the bar job losses together you may be looking at up to 20.
Why do you think two business owners who don’t know us personally (but have seen us around the community) came down to support us? I think it was because they know what it takes to open a business and they also know that there is a great chance we can help revitalize that neighborhood and do what we said but we need everyone’s support. We’ve had a lot of support of other small business owners and from the community at large that we interact and do business with on a daily business in this city and I really appreciate that. Small businesses are going to turn this economy around because they are the driving force and the largest employer collectively.
So I hope everyone gives us a chance and at least stops by a handful of times before they judge us.

Anonymous said...

i'll stop by!

Anonymous said...

Sad to hear that my neighborhood will have this around its neck again. Comparing a historically disruptive bar in a residential neighborhood to a disruptive apartment building is funny. Over the past ten years there have been disruptive apartments on King St. When the neighbors make it apparent to the renters, and police that the tenants behaviors were are not acceptable, the tenants move on (rather quickly.) This has not been the case with this bar.
My neighborhood has enough problems without this one too.

I wish the Moors all the luck in the world. I will be on their side when their licenses need to be renewed and they fulfill the promises they have made. Otherwise, they will have a vocal opponent at every turn.

Lynn M (Skybox) said...

Well we did get our liquor license but our battles this year are not over. We have to renew all of our licenses for May 1st and typically for renewals unless there have been any issues they just renew them (you do not have to go before the City Council). We haven't even been open but we have to go in front of the City Council and plead our case. At this point it is harassment, at least give us a chance to get open and have a chance of running a successful business before we have to plead for our licenses again. So I hope to see all of our supporters like James T and Mike D come down and speak on our behalf one more time this year. I was so excited when after 8 long fought months we finally got our liquor license (which is still good for a year), when I was just informed it not over.

Westbrook Diarist said...

Lynn,

Are you able to re-open before the May meeting, or are you forced to delay your opening until after your license is renewed?

Lynn M said...

We have all the licenses we need to operate until 4/30/09 and we have a Liquor License until 3/18/10, I'm not sure really how it is going to play out. When I was down there applying for our renewal today I was told that I wouldn't have to go in front of the City Council since it is a renewal and I haven't had any issues, but then I received a call saying that was not the case.