If you’re Downtown, it looks like you’ll be able to grab a brew with that Taco Bell chalupa supreme after all.
Madison and Taco Bell have reached a tentative settlement of a year-long legal fight to allow beer and wine sales at a franchised restaurant on State Street.
Soglin had said more liquor licenses on State Street would over-tax police in the area and that granting Taco Bell a liquor license would lead to more fast-food chains seeking licenses.
But a resolution by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and two council members to be introduced Tuesday says the parties now wish to resolve the dispute.
“The city avoids the risk of a negative, state-wide precedential ruling by the Court of Appeals that limits our discretion in issuing liquor licenses,” city attorney Michael May said. “It also gives us the opportunity to seek to vacate the negative Circuit Court ruling which, while not of precedential value, is a ruling we would prefer to see off the books.”
Bell Great Lake’s local legal counsel could not be reached.
Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, who represents the site, has long supported a license with conditions for the restaurant and applauded the settlement. “I believe it’s a good outcome,” he said, adding that the city has been negotiating with Bell since February and that Soglin had supported an agreement for the reasons noted by the city attorney.
The Alcohol License Review Committee will consider the settlement next with a council decision expected no later than May 21, May said.
If the council approves the settlement, the city must issue the beer and wine license within 15 days, provided it has met all legal conditions. The license would have the same conditions as imposed in 2018, with the restaurant stopping service of alcohol by 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Taco Bell would have to meet the city definition of a restaurant and have food available at all times.
Once the license is issued, the sides would file a joint motion to vacate the Circuit Court decision. Then, the city would move to dismiss the litigation. The parties are agreeing to cover their own costs and attorney fees.