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

February 13, 2020

This blog has already weighed in why Austin Carl’s idea for a large dance club in a residential Madison neighborhood was met with much concern.

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.

There have been news stories aplenty about Carl’s idea–including one that made for a national late-night comedy show–that underscores why there is no enthusiasm among the locals for his plan.

But like every process in governing, there are avenues where bridges can be attempted and new presentations made to garner support.  That was to have been the case this week for a meeting with the local neighborhood association committee which oversees these issues.   Carl was on the agenda and folks wondered for days what new proposal was about to unfold.

Carl showed up on Tuesday to a meeting of MNA’s Preservation and Development Committee and made one final pitch for public support.

It didn’t work.

Carl did not bring sufficient documentation detailing changes to his business plan to satisfy anyone in attendance and, therefore, he will not have the influential neighborhood association’s support in seeking ALRC approval next week. 

The committee was unable to vote because no one in attendance thought any information Carl presented was any different than what they had seen at previous meetings.

(Alderwoman Marsha)Rummel said Carl appeared to be vastly unprepared for this venture.

Then to make sure the meeting was not a total bust for those attending there was some humor added.  There is no way to make this up–so let us return to the reporter’s account.

In one of the most striking moments of Tuesday’s meeting, a resident detailed the frustrations neighbors experienced during the Plan B/Prism era and asked Carl what his plan was for dealing with neighbors who may be bothered by loud music coming from his business.

“I have two assistant general managers that I have on the security plan, I believe, and they will be open to phone calls,” Carl said. “I put Mrs. Rummel’s phone number on there, Ald. Rummel. I will be posting those phone numbers on the window so people can, if they have any complaints, I found it important that they can contact her.”

Rummel sat flabbergasted as other residents let out audible gasps and chuckles.

Near the end of his presentation, Carl excitedly invited the attendees to check out Canopy at the open house on Sunday. He offered to turn on some music and pour everyone a drink.

“How are you going to pour us a drink, Austin?” one resident exclaimed. “You don’t have a license!”

“I will happily pour you a cup of soda then!” Carl replied cheerfully. 

I wish to reiterate what I wrote weeks ago about Carl.  It still holds true as he seems like a nice guy.  

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.

And so it goes.

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