Chamber and Main Street group support Rupp's Place

Rupp's Place will get support from both the Norwalk-Huron County Chamber of Commerce and the Main Street Norwalk association at Tuesday's city council meeting. Melissa James, head of the Chamber of Commerce, said she will ask council to reconsider objecting to renewal of the bar's liquor license.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

Rupp’s Place will get support from both the Norwalk-Huron County Chamber of Commerce and the Main Street Norwalk association at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Melissa James, head of the Chamber of Commerce, said she will ask council to reconsider objecting to renewal of the bar’s liquor license.

“I want to encourage council to consider the ramifications,” James said. “It’s a broader issue and we need to be careful when we’re considering what businesses will operate and what will not.”

Dave Gulden, manager for Main Street Norwalk, said he is concerned because the city doesn’t seem to apply the same standards to all businesses.

“We’re not clear on what the city wants,” Gulden said. “From my perspective, it looks like he’s (owner Brian Rupp) making a good effort.”

About 12 people attended last week’s work session to support Rupp’s Place, but council decided to put legislation to oppose the bar’s license on the agenda for Tuesday night even after several spoke out in support of the bar.

Between June 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, 385 officers made or responded to 136 service calls at Rupp’s. Police data indicates the officers spent almost 3,700 total minutes on scene during that time frame.

“That has continued since that time,” Norwalk Law Director Stuart O’Hara said about the statistics. “Yes, that is high.”

Chief Kevin Cashen told council last week police calls to the bar take up an inordinate amount of police time.

“I think it’s unusual,” he said as he reviewed a sheet of statistics he presented to council. Cashen said he sent a letter to Rupp on Dec. 12, 2006 asking that he “improve his record with the Norwalk Police Department.”

Last week Rupp told Norwalk City Council members he started using scanners to verify legal IDs and he also recently added video cameras to his bar in an effort to cut down on police calls to the business.

Cashen told council Rupp’s served a seven-day suspension in April for permit violations. Three cases are pending against the bar two for furnishing alcohol to people under 21 and one for improper conduct with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.