Here’s how college entertainment districts in the region manage culture, safety – Norman Transcript

by | May 22, 2022 | Entertainment

The debate over whether to allow a special use permit for a Campus Corner bar and restaurant is over, but the question remains whether the area will follow in step with other entertainment districts in college towns.Established in 1917, Norman’s Campus Corner has a longstanding history as a vibrant gathering place for University of Oklahoma students and college football fans, with four blocks of options for retail, food and drink.Joe Bendetti, owner of Logie’s On the Corner, went before City Council in April to ask for special use: Bar and tavern zoning to ensure compliance with the state’s liquor laws. State bar and liquor laws changed in 2018. Prior to the change, 3.2% beer counted as food sales. A business must show 35% or more of monthly gross business sales attributed to food to be considered a restaurant.
Bendetti agreed to stipulations, including ‘21 to enter’ signs, maintaining a full kitchen, ensuring speakers are inward facing to limit noise and opening by 4 p.m. and closing by 2 a.m.Council approved the special use under those conditions, with Mayor Breea Clark as the lone “no” vote. At the meeting, Clark said she didn’t want to be one of the votes that would change the culture of the area.“My fear is that yes, we will get other bars down there, and soon we might have a bar district,” O’Connell’s owner Jeff Stewart said. “Then the character of campus corner [would] change from family friendly to late night partying.”Ward 4 City Councilor Lee Hall, whose ward holds Campus Corner, said this zoning case was “particularly interesting” due to the amount of views represented. She said the ability to apply special conditions was a determining factor in her willingness to vote for the allowance of Logie’s special use.Multi …

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