”That way you get to include some of your non-alcohol sales, but you still (have to) be supplying some food, which has always been kind of the bedrock of these exemptions,” Farwell said.
Committee members’ discussion also centered on the time when minors are required to leave establishments with a class II exemption.
Rowland said Clinton’s 12:30 a.m. curfew for 18-,19- and 20-year-olds did not look good for the city, suggesting the curfew be altered.
”I personally think 12:30 myself is too late for hanging around liquor. I know how kids are,” Rowland said. “With kids, the curiosity’s there. We all know it is. Whether it’s exploration with drugs or exploration with liquor, it’s just part of life. It shows up.”
Of several other Iowa cities, Clinton has the most lax rules when it comes to if and when minors can be in bars. While Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Iowa City allow minors in bars, these towns kick minors out at least two and a half hours before Clinton does.
City Administrator Jessica Kinser predicted if the city redefined the gross sales, fewer establishments would have to follow the 12:30 a.m. guideline because it does not apply to establishments with class I exemptions.
”I think in dividing the gross sales differently what you’ll see of what we’re talking about is a lot of the class II exemptions will go to class I exemptions if you adjust the 65/35. So you’re going to have a pool that’s far less as a class II exemption to talk about,” Kinser said.
The committee didn’t make any decisions about the changes, but agreed to continue discussions. They ended the review with a sense the changes would have minimal impact on the business owners subject to the city regulation.
“It’s not my intent to impact the bar owner. It’s my intent to make it easier for them and for the police,” Allesee said.