Vt. Club Hit With Restrictions

The Venue in South Burlington, Vt., with zoning regs limiting capacity to 230 but fire officials saying the space could fit 607, had restrictions placed on its liquor license March 17 by the city that require the business to limit itself to the smaller zoning regulations, according to the Burlington Free Press.  

Feathers have apparently been ruffled by local comparisons with the established Higher Ground, the only other nightclub-style room in the town of fewer than 19,000. There are only two other bars.

Higher Ground owners Kevin Statesir and Alex Crothers have been in South Burlington for more than 10 years – and have had their share of run-ins with the police over that time – but benefit from not only the history but a focus on music and “being good neighbors,” according to the paper, which devoted a front-page article to comparing the two spaces.

The Venue owners Mike Couture and his aunt and business partner Carolyn Jones must adhere to the smaller capacity, obtain professional training for their security and alcohol-serving staff, and provide a schedule of shows not less than seven days in advance to the police department after an uptick in calls in recent months. Couture says he plans to meet with city officials over the restrictions and hopes to have more “clarity.”