It looks like it'll be a few more months before the "green" night club, tentatively named "Envi," opens. Nicholson appeared before the Public Safety and Licensing Committee Monday night to update committee members on the status of the project. The City Council granted Nicholson a liquor license for Envi about 15 months ago.
Nicholson told the committee it would be four or five months before he's able to open. He is, however, working on remodeling the interior and exterior of the building, which he owns.
The committee is interested in Nicholson's progress, and the progress of two other establishments with liquor licenses, because Racine is close to the state-set limit on Class B liquor licenses. It only has three available licenses, at the moment, and those license cost $10,000 a piece because they are "reserve" licenses that technically exceed the city's legal limit.
Nicholson's club, as well as the proposed "Grumpy's" on Lathrop Avenue and "Gerald's" on Washington Avenue, all hold liquor licenses but have yet to open. All three owners were called before the Public Safety and Licensing Committee Monday night under a new city ordinance that requires liquor license holders to update the committee on their progress if they don't open within nine months of receiving the license.
Grumpy's owner Karley Barcalow told the committee her plans were delayed because used kitchen equipment she planned on using didn't pass health department inspection. She told the committee she's now seeking additional loans to buy new equipment and to open, but is having a hard time convincing a bank to help her. That said, she has made progress on opening at 2011 Lathrop Ave. and hopes to move forward within four to five months. Barcalow received her license last summer and had planned to open Sept. 1.
Gerald Bester, owner of Gerald's on Washington Avenue, is hoping for a late-May opening, he told the committee. Bester has been appearing regularly before city committees in recent months to gain approvals for his restaurant, cafe and comedy club in the former "Bank" building in Uptown. He had always planned a spring 2010 opening.
Alderman Aron Wisneski, chairman of the Public Safety and Licensing Committee, said city staff confirmed all three business owners are making progress on their establishments. Under city ordinance, each will have to provide a written update to the committee in three months, if they don't open.