By Eric Flack
(LOUISVILLE, June 24th, 2004, 8 p.m.) -- One of the most recognizable nightspots in the Highlands is now in danger of being shut down. Molly Malone's Irish Pub & Restaurant has been cited by the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control as part of a crackdown on the Baxter Avenue bar strip demanded by the Highlands Neighborhood Association. WAVE 3's Eric Flack reports.
First it was @mosphere that had its books audited. Now inspectors say Molly Malone's at 933 Baxter Avenue isn't selling enough food to keep its liquor license. Orville Scott has lived in the neighborhood near Baxter Avenue a long time -- "44 years."
But he doesn't like what he has been seeing lately. "They knock windshields, break car windows, throw trash all over -- beer bottles, beer cans, everything else."
If Scott and many of his neighbors get their way, there would be a lot less to look at. "The qucker they go, the better," Scott says.
Molly Malones is one of the businesses that may be on the way out after a recent audit by the ABC showed Molly's is making less than 50 percent of its money on food -- which violates the agreement that allows the business to sell alcohol.
Molly's could lose its liquor license, as could @mosphere, the first Baxter Avenue business found to be violating the food sales requirement.
Wet Willys might be the next bar in danger of closing. State law says bars without restaurants have to be at least 700 feet away from each other. However, Wet Willy's recently got a license even though it's a little less than 700 feet away from the nearest bar, by saying it would let people in the back door.
The extra distance patrons have to walk down an alley to the back door puts Wet Willies over the 700-foot rule.
But not if customers don't use the back door. Wet Willys would be in violation of the law and neighbors now say they're cheating.
Although bar owners and patrons think the neighborhood association is now getting "nit-picky," Scott says it's all about making sure no one picks on him.
Molly Malones wouldn't comment for this story. We'll hear from them when they appear in front of the ABC Board. The audits of bars/resturants along Baxter Avenue is ongoing.
And if you're wondering why Molly's and other taverns don't just apply for a bar license, it's becuase of the 700-foot rule.
Online Reporter: Eric Flack