Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cass Corridor Bar Brawl

Second and Canfield, one of my favorite sections of the Cass Corridor, is in the midst of brawling bar owners.

The story goes that the site of the Motor City brewery was, for a short period, the site where Traffic Jam first brewed their beer. Because the brewery and restaurant were at two separate locations, Traffic Jam could not legally operate as a brew pub and were forced to move their operations across the street since legislation requires that you manufacture the beer on the same site as the restaurant.

From 1992 to 1994, the Motor City Brewing Works was the Detroit & Mackinac Brewery (the first microbrewery in Detroit). A gentleman by the name of Tom Burns was the President and John Linardos was the sole brewer and Vice President. When Tom passed away from cancer in 1994, John Linardos founded the Motor City Brewing Company.

Both the Traffic Jam and the Motor City Brewing Company were previously owned by Ben Edwards. When Ben retired he sold the site where Motor City now sits to John Linardos and Traffic Jam to Scott Lowell and wife/co-owner Caroline Howard.

The one main problem with the sales of the two properties is that if you have ever been to either of these establishments, you have noticed that Motor City Brewing Works is actually located on the back of the parking lot which is owned by Traffic Jam. Now, after all of these years, Scott Lowell has suddenly asked the City of Detroit to shut down Motor City Brewing Works claiming that he does not want the customers of MCBW to use his parking lot. Instead of coming to some sort of agreement, he believes he can strong-arm them out of business.

In court he claimed MCBW was hosting raves and live music without a permit. He falsely reported that they were "illegally showing and charging for first run movies", and he stated that they were showing "large scale artworks" at the Wednesday Night Art Shows. The city has since refused to shut down the brewery and he now plans on suing the city. How is any of this going to help him or his business? Or the city for that matter. With all of the rehab work that Scott has done to the area, it seems that he was trying to make improvements. But in order to rebuild and thrive shouldn't we all be civil?

I do not claim to know the whole story, nor do I know John or Scott, but I do know that the one thing we all desire is a better Detroit. I hope that this can be settled in a respectable way and that this city shall finally rise from the ashes!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems we should all be in the rebuilding together. Kwame won't help us out and that's been proven. Petty differences don't have room in a great city like Detroit. They only serve to keep us down. How about we all meet up at the Bronx or the Old Miami, have a three dollar Newcastle, and sort this all out with the parties involved? Whatever happens, Detroit SHALL Rise from the Ashes! We may have to do it ourselves DB. See you in the big cars baby!

DSP Linwood Branch

1/30/2007 07:45:00 PM  

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