After several contentious weeks, a liquor license has finally been issued for a bar and restaurant that became a battleground for Springfield aldermen.
Mayor Mike Houston issued that license to Scandals and the adjacent Mama's Kitchen restaurant, after insisting on some stipulations. Initially, the mayor had demanded that owner Aaron Hurley agree to never seek a 3am liquor license for the establishment. Hurley's partner and business spokesman Michael Stoker says that stipulation now only covers the remainder of Houston's time in office, giving Hurley the option of seeking the later closing time in the future.
The license had originally been held up by Alderman Gail Simpson's vocal objection to another bar in Ward 2, and then by Houston's demands. Stoker says he can't help but feel that the opposition may have been affected by Scandals' reputation as a gay bar... or even by its status as a white-run business setting up shop in a black area of town. But he says he hopes people of all races and orientations will embrace the bar and restaurant.