Broadway businesses to 10th Street would be eligible to apply for license

The number of businesses in downtown Hannibal that would be eligible to serve alcohol outdoors could be expanding. A revision to the city’s open consumption ordinance will be up for second and final consideration when the city council meets Tuesday, March 6, at city hall.

The new guidelines for Broadway establishments between the riverfront and 10th Street would be identical to those already in effect on Main Street and its immediate side streets.

According to the city manager, new development has spurred inquiries regarding the special alcohol-related license.

“Broadway businesses now express interest in this licensing,” said City Manager Jeff LaGarce. “Reinvestment on the Broadway corridor has been growing in recent months. Site purchases, exterior and interior renovations, and new business openings have been deemed very positive. Several are restaurants.”

Momentum at city hall for expanding the special license to include Broadway establishments grew after it was realized that such a permit had already been issued to a business along that corridor.

“The open consumption licensing was inadvertently issued to the Broadway Bar, which is unfortunately located outside the geographic area to which this ordinance applies,” said LaGarce, who apologized to the city council for the oversight during its Feb. 20 meeting. “When that license was accidentally issued the geographic limitation went completely unnoticed by four department heads, five including me. We simply missed it and an apology is certainly appropriate here.”

The licensing revision dates back to 2013 when several restaurant owners on Main Street requested a city policy change to permit outdoor dining.

“More accurately, it wasn’t so much the outdoor dining element, but the outdoor service of liquor to accompany the outdoor dining experience,” explained LaGarce.

Ultimately the city council passed an ordinance creating an additional liquor license category. That ordinance contains some strict provisions:

• The applicant must first obtain written consent from all adjacent property owners.

• The applicant must have permission from the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

• Applications must be approved by the police department, fire department, street department, department of public works and city manager.

• Law enforcement violations can result in the suspension or forfeiture of the license.

Based on what has been seen on Main Street the new category of liquor license has been well received, according to LaGarce.

“This policy appears successful for businesses and patrons,” he said. “Outdoor service has been well received, while Hannibal Police have not encountered problems. Chief (Lyndell) Davis states there have been no increases in calls, nor have police experienced problems with this policy.”

Citing that there has been no increase in disturbance calls from Main Street businesses holding the revised license, Mayor James Hark said on Feb. 20 that it “makes sense” to expand its availability to a section of Broadway.

The Tuesday, March 6, city council meeting at city hall will begin at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at