BRATTLEBORO -- The owners of Arkham, a bar located in the Harmony Parking Lot, will continue to be able to serve drinks in an outside seating area after the Selectboard received a 90-day report and failed to revoke the license.
The Selectboard, acting as the Liquor Commissioners, issued the outside consumption permit on June 5 with the stipulation that the owners give a 90-day report on how things were going.
The board required the owners to fence off the area, requiring that the owners work with the Fire Department and with the Planning Department to ensure that no zoning regulations were violated.
The bar is also required to have an employee in the outside area at all times.
At Tuesday night's Selectboard meeting Arkham owners Alyssa Blittersdorf and Alan Blackwell told the board that the business has not had any major problems and actually found that the outside patrons had improved the climate in the whole area.
Police Chief Gene Wrinn and Fire Chief Mike Bucossi both said the experiment seemed to be working and they told the Selectboard the bar owners should be able to continue serving drinks in the outside fenced area.
The Selectboard agreed to allow the permit for the rest of the year. Blackwell and Blittersdorf said they spoke with 46 patrons, neighbors and community members about the outside permit to see if the outside consumption permit was having any impact on the area.
Blackwell said some people said they felt safer around Harmony Lot with the extra eyes and ears in the area at night.
"People love it," he said. "We want people to know that we didn't come to this too easily and it is important to us to keep everyone in check."
Selectboard member John Allen said he has heard only good things about the outside drinking area.
And David Cadran, a Brattleboro resident, asked the board not to revoke the license, saying the outside consumption permit gave Brattleboro a unique and different experience for bar patrons.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.