"[T]this morning in council, Pittsburgh City Councilman Bruce Kraus reintroduced a bill to limit bars on the South Side, after a similar bill was rejected last month by an Allegheny County Common Pleas Court judge.This latest legislation is intending to prohibit all new restaurants from opening on the South Side. Because of the previous limit on alcohol licenses, many previous restaurants had already discovered that it was more profitable to move and sell their alcohol licenses. The most recent and egregious example is Bruschetta which shuttered its doors to re-open as Villa, quite possibly the largest square footage of physical bar in all of the South Side.
Mr. Kraus said the new version of the bill would change city zoning rules to prohibit all new restaurants in the Carson Street corridor, whether or not they offered alcohol. According to the city Law Department, he said, if the bill is "alcohol-neutral, it will be held up by the courts.""
If this legislation passes, not only will no new restaurants open, many restaurants will close to follow the suit of Bruschetta. The South Side needs a balance of restaurants, bars, shopping, grocery stores, etc. Without excessive punishing legislation, this will happen.
Instead, I recommend that Councilor Kraus follow the results of the hospitality study that he commissioned. Work with local businesses instead of attempting to squash new business, and we will have a vibrant community.