Dozens of Bootlegger's Brewery fans packed the council chambers in Fullerton last night in order to show support for the craft brewery's opening of a tasting room in downtown Fullerton's Soco District. The room was already crowded with a troop of Boy Scouts, two city commissions receiving meritorious citations, a handful of Kelly's Army waving recall signs, and Channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11.
Downtown real-estate mogul and good-government crusader Tony Bushala
more or less accused the Planning Commission of malfeasance for
ignoring the two houses in a manufacturing zone, and talked about the
mixed-use housing approved for the south side of Santa Fe; Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva
pointed out that in the wake of California's defunding of local
redevelopment agencies, that project is unlikely ever to see the light
of day. Bootlegger's owner Aaron Barkenhagen got up and defended his proposal, then the citizenry got their chance to talk, three minutes at a time.
The final tally of public speakers was 15 in support of Bootlegger's, 7
against, and one off-topic idiot who used his three minutes to tell the
council members under threat of recall to recuse themselves.
The comments ran the gamut from someone who decided to hold Bootlegger's
accountable for the “feces and condoms” she finds in her yard from
other, less well-behaved patrons of Downtown Fullerton's 51 52 drinking
establishments to someone sweetly pointing out that none of these
detractors bothered to show up to the Planning Commission hearing.
After the comments session was done, each of the visibly relieved
council members spoke in support of the business, and voted 5-0 to deny
Bushala's appeal and grant the CUP as negotiated and passed by the
Planning Commission. That does not mean the brewery will be open until 2
a.m., only that they have permission to do so if they want to.
Barkenhagen says he expects to stay open until 10 p.m. weekdays and
midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Look for details of the opening here as soon as they're settled.