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Mayor Wants New Vote On Tattoo Beer License

November 21, 2012, 5:27 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Mayor Wants New Vote On Tattoo Beer License

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether wants the city council to reconsider a decision to give a downtown tattoo parlor a malt beverage license.

The license for Vishnu Bunny Tattoo came with some opposition at Tuesday night's meeting and passed by a single vote, but Mayor Mike Huether believes there could have been more public input.

The reason he believes that is because the legal notice that was given out to neighbors about the license contained the wrong address.

The owner of Vishnu Bunny Tattoo in downtown Sioux Falls says there are no plans to serve beer inside the tattoo parlor on a regular basis.

"We're looking for three hours one Friday a month," owner Jeff Mann said.

What Mann says the shop plans to have are art shows one night a month with beer and wine.

"So the first Friday, what we're looking to do is we cease all tattooing at about six-o-clock and we close for an hour and we transition into an art gallery," Mann said.

But Huether has some reservations.

"One ordinance says that if you're the tattoo artist you can't drink while you are giving the tattoo. The second ordinance says that if you are a patron that's going to get a tattoo you can't drink either, so why in the world are we mixing alcohol in a tattoo parlor?" Huether said.

Huether wants the council to reconsider its 4-to-3 vote to grant the license. The only way that can happen is if one of the council members who voted in favor of the license brings it up at the next meeting.

Huether not only wants them to reconsider because of the ordinances on the books but also because the wrong address was posted on the letters notifying neighbors of the license request.

"When we had the wrong address on there, it didn't really give the right notification to the neighbors of Vishnu Bunny," Huether said.

But Mann says his neighbors were notified.

Ben Dunsmoor: So you posted it on your door that you were getting, applying, for this license?
Mann: Yes. 
Dunsmoor: So it's the city's own fault for posting the wrong address when they notified neighbors?
Mann: Yeah, I suppose.

As far as concerns about drinking and tattooing, Mann says in addition to city ordinances, as a tattoo parlor he is restricted from serving alcohol while tattooing.

"We have ordinances in place per our health license that we can't have open containers here while we are tattooing," Mann said.

City council chairwoman Michelle Erpenbach was not at Tuesday night's meeting and did not vote.

Huether adds that if the council does reconsider the vote, and if it was a tie vote, he will break the tie by voting against the beer license for Vishnu Bunny Tattoo.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

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