I would like to update the campus and the community on a new development in the situation involving the Rehab bar in downtown Menomonie. Today the Leader-Telegram reported that the owner of the Rehab has proposed transferring his liquor license to an Eau Claire entity that operates bars there. That story can be found here. Here is my full statement that was sent to the newspaper in response to a request for comment:
“We were pleased when the Menomonie City Council on June 11, voted not to renew the liquor license for the Rehab tavern in downtown Menomonie. That action by the City Council sent a strong signal to the community that it wanted a new direction for its downtown – one that was not centered on encouraging high risk drinking among young people. Therefore, we are concerned with the current proposal to transfer the Rehab’s license to an Eau Claire group that is associated with establishments there that target college students with drink specials. We fear this transfer could perpetuate the current high-risk drinking culture that exists at the Rehab. We believe a better option would be denying this transfer to allow the council to carefully consider all applicants’ business plans – including responsible beverage services — that may be a better fit for the new direction we hope to see in downtown Menomonie.”
This is an incredibly important issue for the campus and for the community. We will keep the campus updated as needed.