ALCOHOL SALES AT TULIP’S
After much discussion and not without controversy, the Fort Worth City Council approved the sale of mixed beverages during the late hours at Tulip’s bar and music venue at 1813 W. Bowie St.
The council vote was 6-2 in favor, with District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh and District 8 Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray voting against. District 2 Councilman Carlos Flores was absent.
The bar is located approximately 254 feet from the property line of Paschal High School, located at 3001 Forest Park Blvd. However, that is disputed due to the owners having received a letter from the city informing them they are over the required 300 feet away.
A public hearing was held prior to the council vote Tuesday, with most of the speakers in support of the establishment, including the Van Cliburn organization and even a pastor. The leasee of the property, Jason Suder, requested that the council grant a variance from the 300-foot distance regulation.
“What we don’t have in Fort Worth is a home for music,” Suder said. “In order to conduct this business I do need a variance. I do need to sell alcohol.”
The city’s Alcoholic Beverages Code provides that it is unlawful to sell alcoholic beverages at a place of business that is located within 300 feet of any church, public school or public hospital. The measurement of the distance between the place of business and a public school is a straight line to the closest property line of the school.
However, city code does provide that the city council may grant a variance from the 300-foot regulation if it determines for a variety of reasons, one being a previous permit was issued for the premises in error, and enforcement of the regulation would be inequitable.
The Fort Worth School District submitted a letter saying they would not support having a bar so close.
“The thought of having several hundred people leaving a bar in their cars worries me. It should worry everyone,” said Ricardo Garcia, president of the Paschal Neighborhood Association. “A bar has no place being so close to a school.”
Garcia noted that though alcohol will not be sold during school hours, numerous events happen at the school after regular hours, including sporting events, fine arts events, etc. He also recognized that a mistake was made by the city, adding, “The students should not have to burden the mistake.”
Zadeh proposed denying the project without prejudice.
Gray proposed a continuance (postponement) for 30 days.
“What does it hurt to postpone this for 30 days?” she asked. “If in 30 days you can’t get to where everyone is comfortable with it, then deny it.
“One of the things we’re good at as a council is to get everyone around a table and figure things out.”
District 3 Councilman Brian Byrd voted yes for a pair of reasons, he said.
“I think we need to take care of our relationship with our development community,” Byrd said, adding that he thinks the venue will be a positive addition to the city. “I love it when we do things that bring people together. It makes us better.”