Art collective closing in on permit to serve beer, wine at its events

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
The Looking Glass Art Collective at 405-407 N. Lee St. is seeking city permission to allow the serving of alcohol in connection with its theater, gallery and music events.
The collective cleared one hurdle Tuesday when the Salisbury Planning Board voted 7-0 for a special-use permit to allow on-site alcohol consumption.
Salisbury City Council will take up the matter July 21.
Under the city’s new Land Development Ordinance, places where on-site alcoholic beverages are sold which are not part of a larger restaurant are classified as a bar, tavern or nightclub.
A bar, tavern or nightclub is allowed in the Downtown Mixed-use zoning if a special-use permit is approved.
Sarah Hall, president of Looking Glass Art Collective, said the organization was not trying to be a nightclub but wanted only to be able to serve wine and beer at some of its events.
Hall added that members of the collective will be taking a responsible-server course.
In response to some questions from Planning Board, Hall said the theater has seating capacity for 75 to 125, depending on the setup.
Judging from the past year, Hall said the Lee Street Theater has about five plays annually, which generally run four to five performances each.
The collective also has been trying to have live music performances three to four times a month, Hall said.
The city recently approved a similar special-use permit for alcohol at the Havana Knights cigar boutique on South Lee Street.