Chickens, Pearls, etc

The Portland City Council is scheduled to meet Wendnesday night. Urban chickens are on the agenda (link is to a large PDF) as is a liquor license for Pearl, a bar that’s proposed for the former location of Onyx, revisiting the vote on the Cactus Club, as well as liquor licenses for The Farmer’s Table and Typerwriter Tavern. Paperwork submitted to the city confirms that Jeff Landry is behind The Farmer’s Table and includes a draft menu (see page 120 of the agenda).

Chickens and Waterfront Zoning

This week’s issue of The Forecaster has a couple food-related articles. There’s a report on the proposal before the City Council to allow raising domesticated chickens in the city,

Residents like Elaine McGillicuddy are excited about the prospect. McGillicuddy said she heard about the proposal and immediately began educating herself about chickens and sending e-mails to friends encouraging them to support the urban chicken movement.

and news on the struggle over the appropriate use of waterfront property along Commercial Street,

The owner of the Comedy Connection and Porthole restaurant wants to reopen the former Boone’s Restaurant space on Custom House Wharf, but is meeting resistance from the city in a new challenge to waterfront zoning rules.

A Call to Raise

Tracy Allen from the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Maine has called for raising the minimum wage for tipped workers in a guest editorial that appeared in today’s Press Herald.

Despite the fact that they make up such a huge portion of the workforce, many restaurant workers are paid the tipped minimum wage, which is less than the overall minimum wage.

Federally, that means tipped workers are paid just $2.13 per hour plus tips.

The tipped minimum wage has been frozen at just $2.13 per hour since 1991 — that’s 18 years! With the passing of each year, tipped workers effectively earn less and less, and many struggle to make ends meet.

Alcohol Sting Operation

According to a report in today’s Portland Daily Sun, several local business were caught up in a sting operation for selling alcohol to underage customers.

Lt. Michael Sauschuck said three summons were issued Jan. 23 and six more were issued on Jan. 24 during a compliance check that used a civilian decoy “between the ages of 18 and 20” who attempted to purchase alcohol without identification. Sauschuck said the 31 locations chosen for the sting were randomly-generated and part of an “ongoing operation” by the department to curb sales to minors.

Colucci’s, Vespucci’s and La Bodega Latina were among those “cited by Portland Police for underage alcohol sales”.

Cactus Club

The Bollard has a report on the tie vote by the City Council last night to renew the Cactus Club’s liquor license. The article also details a history of owner Tom Manning past establishments in Portland.

The police department recommended denial of the bar’s liquor license last fall due to the high number of fights and other disturbances inside and outside Cactus Club. Between December 2007 and last November, cops documented 64 calls to the bar or the area outside its front door.