The Creston-Kenilworth Neighborhood Association is writing with regards to a liquor license application for FigMint LLC at 4513 SE 41st Ave. At several recent community meetings, neighbors and community leaders have expressed significant concerns over this particular application. As a result, the Woodstock Neighborhood Association hosted a meeting between concerned individuals and the applicants, Johnny and Emily Zukle. At this meeting, the Zukles stated that they intend to open a “high-end family-friendly vegan restaurant” named FigMint. A thriving family-friendly restaurant would be welcomed by the surrounding neighborhoods. However, many residents remained concerned because the Zukles own and operate several well-known strip clubs in Portland. The Creston-Kenilworth Neighborhood Association would like to request restrictions on the liquor license for 4513 SE 41st Ave that would be supportive of his stated business interests while protecting the interests of the residents living nearby.
The main cause for concern centers on the possibility that, once they receive a liquor license, the Zukles could change their business model from a family-friendly restaurant to a night club with nude dancers, similar to their other businesses. In this circumstance, the surrounding residences would receive no notification of the changes in the Zukle’s business model, but would likely experience significant detrimental impacts. The proposed location is adjacent to single-family homes, across SE 41st Ave from the Calvary Bible Church, and across SE Holgate from apartment buildings. We feel that a business in the adult entertainment industry would negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood in several ways, including noise from amplified music after 10pm, and the potential for over-served individuals and disorderly conduct. In a meeting hosted by the Woodstock Neighborhood Association on March 25, 2015, Mr. Zukle admitted that he has previously altered a business in this way: a restaurant Mr. Zukle owned was failing and he consequently converted it to a strip club.
In addition, Mr. Zukle stated at the March 25, 2015, meeting that he intends to use a second retail unit in the same building to sell vegan marijuana products. It was unclear from his comments on March 25th, 2015, whether Mr. Zukle intends to sell medical or recreational marijuana, as he referenced both. We are concerned with the possibility for the co-location of a business serving on-site liquor with a business selling recreational marijuana products. Furthermore, the Calvary Bible Church across SE 41st Ave hosts frequent addiction recovery groups at its location, and the availability of recreational marijuana could be troubling for individuals seeking support at the church.
In light of these concerns we request the OLCC require the liquor license include the following enforceable restrictions:
1. Hours of operation will be restricted to the hours of 11:00 am- 9:00 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 am - 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday (as listed on the current application);
2. No live entertainment, including amplified music and dancing (nude or otherwise) in order to prevent noise disturbances to the surrounding residences. Noise from the establishment will be at appropriate levels for a residential neighborhood;
3. Minors be permitted in all portions of the restaurant;
4. Seating for no more than 36 customers (as listed on the current application), including any outdoor seating, within the 1,000 square-feet area listed on the application;
5. Recreational marijuana sales shall not be permitted on this tax lot.
We request that the OLCC require ownership to re-apply for a liquor license if any changes to these requirements are requested, allowing the neighborhood to comment on any new business model that involves alcohol.
The neighborhood is excited to see the revitalization of this property and hopes to see a successful family-friendly restaurant thrive at this location. At the same time, we do not want to see this applicant change course and use this liquor license to open up any sort of adult entertainment establishment. The requested restrictions not only provide for ownership to open and operate a successful restaurant, but also ensure that the property will not become an adult-oriented business in this mostly residential part of our neighborhood.
Creston-Kenilworth Neighborhood Association