Since the news first broke that four state lawmakers had written to the Liquor Control Board expressing "grave concern" that the 2012 catering permit regulations were being interpreted too loosely, other elected officials have been curiously quiet about the topic of pop-up beer gardens.
But now state Senator and Mayoral candidate-in-waiting Anthony Williams has broken the silence with his own letter to the LCB defending the gardens on economic development grounds, and urging the LCB not to place "unnecessary or overly burdensome restrictions on these venues."
"Additionally, many of these gardens are appearing on vacant lots that would otherwise attract criminal activity. Instead of an eyesore that requires additional policing costs to the city, residents are enjoying increased consumer foot traffic and public green space. Local businesses, particularly food truck operators who aspire to restaurant ownership, have seized on the popularity of these venues to expand their customer base."
Read the whole thing below.
Also noteworthy is Williams's positive messaging on food trucks, given the political resistance mobile vending as encountered in some other cities.
Who do you think is the real target of this letter? Is this state Senator Williams weighing in on a state regulatory issue, or Mayoral candidate Anthony Williams sending a message to 2015 voters?