Joe Harris may still get to open his jazz and blues club.
The City Council rejected a recommendation by the Public Safety and Licensing Committee to deny Harris a liquor license for the "Bourbon Street Blues & Jazz Bar" at 1111 Washington Ave.
The council voted 7-5 against Ald. Aron Wisneski's motion to deny the liquor license based on the fragility of the neighborhood, close proximity to a day care and Safe Haven, and insufficient parking for patrons.
Alds. Bob Mozol, Q.A. Shakoor II, Michael Shields, Dennis Wiser, Ray DeHahn, Ron Hart and Jim Kaplan voted against the motion.
Alds. Jim Spangenberg, Sandy Weidner, David Maack and Eric Marcus joined Wisneski in opposition.
Alds. Terry McCarthy, Jeff Coe and Greg Helding were excused from the vote.
Harris first applied for the license with Leslie Rogers, a former bar owner who made a deal with the city that he would never hold a liquor license in Racine again. Harris then reapplied without Rogers listed as a partner, but the Public Safety and Licensing Committee still had questions about the bar's fit in the neighborhood.
Harris argued he was replacing an existing bar - the Salt and Pepper Lounge - so his club should have no impact on the neighborhood. The full council appeared to agree.
Harris' proposal was referred back to the Public Safety and Licensing Committee for further consideration. It may still have a difficult time winning the committee's approval. Three committee members - Wisneski, Marcus and Maack - voted against the permit. Two committee members - Kaplan and Mozol - supported it.
The committee will take up the permit at its next meeting on Aug. 23.
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