Downtown retail stores are petitioning on behalf of Historic Downtown Puyallup to obtain denial of the liquor license permits for Puyallup River Ale and Scotty’s Bar & Grill. Currently, there are nine licensed liquor serving bars/pubs/lounges/taverns in a two block radius in the downtown core of Puyallup. Downtown retail stores have worked diligently to gather petition signatures. Retail store owners are aware that the closing date for Scotty’s Bar & Grill is the end of December; therefore, they are submitting all petitions gathered as December 19, 2012. They will continue to obtain petition signatures for Puyallup River Ale through the first week of March 2013.
A spokesperson for the petition said “Last August Pioneer Bakery closed after 96 years. The owner could not find a buyer and she was forced, due to illness, to close the doors. Much to our amazement, a banner soon appeared in the window announcing the Puyallup River Ale House. Retail store owners around the bakery were surprised at how quickly a tavern had locked in. A count of the local taverns/pubs/bars/lounges was made and downtown retail was surprised at what they found! Nine were located in a two block radius of the historic downtown core. Retail owners had to admit they were so busy running their businesses they had not kept up with the liquor permits being granted to downtown establishments. They decided “nine was enough” and it was time to take a stand and let the Puyallup City Council and the Liquor Control Board know that additional liquor serving establishments were not welcome.”
“The Puyallup Main Street director was contacted. Retail stores were sure the Main Street Association would want to help us. We were told that our goal of stopping future taverns would affect the economic growth of downtown Puyallup. ‘How is that so?’ we asked and were told by the director, that if Puyallup did not have the taverns, we could have empty buildings. So, retail stores decided to speak with some of our city fathers. Surely they would help us. During conversation with some members of the Puyallup City Council, downtown retail quickly learned there was nothing in the City license regulations that prohibited a town full of taverns! City Fathers suggested we take our concerns to the Liquor Control Board.”
“The Liquor Control Board was contacted; they suggested we start a petition; this was the first week of November. We have until the end of December to submit our petition against one of the upcoming taverns: The old 2J’s now called Scotty’s Bar & Grill.”
“The race was on and we are now at the end of December. Downtown retail put petitions on their counters and asked customers for their support. People were amazed at our story and at the number of liquor serving establishments already doing business in such a small area. Five hundred signatures were gathered and will be submitted to the Liquor Control Board by Friday, December 21. The second tavern requesting a liquor permit is the Puyallup River Ale House and the Pioneer Bakery, has a permit process that ends the middle of March. Retail will continue to gather signatures on this establishment through the end of February. Customers of historic downtown retail may visit any of the local retail stores and sign a petition and their support will be deeply appreciated. If a petition is not on the counter, retail staff will direct you to a store that does have a petition available. Some of the downtown retail stores were concerned about repercussions and, although they supported the petition, did not want to display a petition. Other store owners felt they did not want to be responsible for keeping a tavern owner from experiencing their dream.”
“Customers signing our petition express concerns that downtown Puyallup is well on their way to becoming a Seattle ‘bell town,’ a downtown Shelton, a downtown Centralia, a rerun of the old Auburn, before it was cleaned up and had 50+ bars in 7 blocks. We need to stop the trend ‘now.’ City Council needs a cap on the liquor serving establishments in historic downtown Puyallup. This being said, the nine that are currently doing business in downtown Puyallup are working hard to make sure Puyallup stays a safe city to visit in the evening. Extra staff has been hired to monitor customer’s served and taxi cabs are provided for those who cannot safely drive home. Volunteers help clean up the parking lots of broken bottles and litter on Saturday and Sunday mornings.”
When asked how she will know what she is doing is making a difference/going to work, the spokesperson replied, “Liquor Control Board has said they will review the petitions for the old 2J’s, now Scotty’s Bar and Grill within a week. We are new at this process. We believe the liquor control board will hear our plea and help us by denying the liquor permits for both Scotty’s Bar and Grill and the Puyallup River Ale house.”
For more information about this cause, visit “No more booze in downtown Puyallup” on their Facebook page. “Please visit our page and like us” the spokesperson concluded.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com