Austin Carl’s Dream For Canopy Nightclub Not Ready For Prime Time

This blog has been blunt about the problems that would result, again, if a large nightclub were allowed to operate on Williamson Street in Madison.  The residents of the area have made it known they are not interested in the noise, cars, and drunks that come with such a business.

This week the Wisconsin State Journal reported a story about Austin Carl, the proposed new owner, and operator of Canopy Nightclub.  It was not what anyone with any business sense or PR acumen would have wished to see in print–on the very day that a neighborhood meeting took place to measure the mood of the locals.

Seriously, who would make the case for being a business owner in this way?

Carl (age 25) said while he doesn’t have a business background, he had positions in the Army which have prepared him to operate a club. He ran and maintained an arms room in a secure facility, where he said he had to track hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment.


So, Carl is studying Electrical Engineering online…was out of the country and not able to attend the neighborhood meeting last night…but wants to start a new night club/cafe/whatever and has not mentioned having any experience running a bar or restaurant.  He said he signed a lease for four months and, if all goes well, he’ll sign a longer lease.  

Carl is working to match the club’s aesthetic to its name with a “city meets wildlife and nature” theme. He’s installing a “plant wall” that can be modified to fit the season. Much of it has to be made of plastic so it doesn’t get damaged by club-goers.

“We’re definitely trying to incorporate a healthy dose of nature into everything.”

I like to always support the dreams and aspirations of others.  We all have dreams and need encouragement. But the lack of Carl having any of the needed background and experience to operate a nightclub where alcohol will be sold as fast as drinkers swallow means the needs of the neighborhood must rise above his current wishes.

The newspaper story was a wake-up call for the entire neighborhood.