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Ottertail discusses liquor licenses for two restaurants

A public hearing was held June 2 regarding liquor licenses for Nick's (Restaurant and Bar) and Ottertail Supper Club and Lounge.

The Ottertail City Council approved a private on-sale and Sunday liquor license for Nick's, and is waiting to license the Ottertail Supper Club and Lounge once a few repairs have been completed.

Hours of operation for Nick's will be from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. The establishment is located in the former CJ's Pizza building off of Highway 108. Owner Dominic Opatz said he plans to serve pizza, chicken and a variety of fried foods.

In a related motion, the council approved an amendment to the city's liquor ordinance. The old version of the ordinance required owners to live in the state of Minnesota. Ottertail city clerk/treasurer Elaine Hanson said she checked with the League of Minnesota Cities and with Liquor Control and neither of those entities knew why that clause was in the Ottertail ordinance. The ordinance was officially amended with that stipulation removed.

The Ottertail Supper Club and Lounge will be changing ownership in the near future. The new owners, Daniel Patrick Hurder and David D. Hurder report that they do not plan to close the restaurant for any more than a few days when the business officially changes hands.

However, the restaurant/bar will not reopen until certain changes are made. In order to bring the building up to code, some repairs are currently underway. The liquor license will be contingent on these repairs.

The private on-sale, Sunday liquor and off-sale license for the Ottertail Supper Club and Lounge will be on the agenda at the next regular Ottertail City Council meeting on Thursday, June 16.

In other business at the June 2 meeting, Ottertail maintenance supervisor Lee Sherman updated the council about some of the high water issues within the city. High water on Donald's Road is still a problem. If the city gets a few more inches of rain, Sherman said, the city might need to close the road.

Councilmember Don Patrick asked about what criteria the city would use to determine whether or not the road should be closed. Sherman said the city is keeping a close watch on the flooded roadways and that any amount of water over the road would be the tipping point.

"The high water is so unusual. We've never experienced anything like this before," Sherman said.

Approved at the meeting were the minutes from a special joint work session held at the Ottertail Community Center on May 16. Members of the city council, the Ottertail Planning Committee and city staff were all on hand for the meeting. The purpose was to review the zoning section of the proposed Ottertail City Code and make recommendations to the city's attorney. The goal is to coordinate Ottertail's zoning chapter with the shoreland ordinance.

Special attention was placed on the classification of the city's different zoning districts. The consensus was to submit the following: R1-Resdiental; C1-Centralized Business District; C2-Commercial District; I-Industrial; and Agricultural District. According to the minutes from the meeting, setbacks for all districts are to be the same as those in the shoreland ordinance in an attempt to create consistency.

Additional city code work session meetings were held on May 23 and 24.