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DL denies liquor license to former Green Door Bar

The Detroit Lakes City Council has denied a liquor license to the owner of the former Green Door bar near the Pavilion.

The action was taken at a special meeting Tuesday.

Tyler Leitheiser applied for a liquor license for The Mighty Minnow, formerly the Green Door, for the remainder of the year.

But several issues came up in the liquor committee meeting to show Leitheiser would not be receiving the license.

Assistant City Administrator Lynne Krieger said she hadn't received several pieces of paperwork or fees for the application. Also, although there wasn't a recommendation from the police chief, there was a police report on the applicant.

Krieger said she hadn't received a release on the contents of the report, but there are no liquor violations included.

New Giovanni's Pizza owner Zack Taves was also present at the meeting and listed on the liquor license, but said he didn't want to be, since only Leitheiser is applying for the license.

According to the liquor license listed on the city's Web site, an establishment must have seating for 90 people in its dining room. That was another issue for the Mighty Minnow, which would have outside seating.

When former Green Door owner Matt Wimmer was granted a liquor license for the bar, it was granted even though there was very limited seating available at the establishment. The fact that he owned Giovanni's and could count some of the seating in there and made a covered path between buildings convinced the council to approve it.

Liquor Committee Chair and Alderman Dave Aune said personally it made him uncomfortable last year after it was approved for Wimmer.

Leitheiser said he planned to take out the mini golf area and make more outside seating, but that wouldn't affect the indoor seating requirement, the committee said.

Lakeside 1891 owner Chet Collins said while he has nothing personal against the new owners or the idea of a liquor license, parking is an issue as well. When parking spills from the limited parking in the Giovanni's lot, people tend to park in his parking lot, he said.

He built a patio for this year and had to decrease his seating inside to meet the parking requirements.

Leitheiser said he has plans to turn the bar portion of the Mighty Minnow into a kitchen to serve food. People could just walk up to the window for food and drinks. The liquor committee said that wasn't acceptable, reasoning that basically they would just be approving a bar.

"What they're asking for, not even close," said Alderman Leonard Heltemes.

The city council denied the request for the liquor license.

Also at the meeting, the council approved the request of the Detroit Lakes Fire Department to waive the Pavilion rental fee for the Minnesota State Fire Conference.

Officials say they are not waiving fees for the Pavilion and sports arena any longer, even for non-profit organizations, but the fire department received the waiver because it is an arm of the city.

Hospice of the Red River Valley in Detroit Lakes was denied a waiver at the council meeting earlier this month.