The City Council has reissued a permit for that allows them to serve food outdoors for the next 18 months.
The Tuesday vote was 4-1, with Councilwoman Barbara Denny opposing the extension.
It was a small victory for . They are a small, but vocal group, and have repeatedly presented the council with a litany of complaints.
“It’s really horrible situation,” nearby resident Elaine Fenwick said. Others told of drunks sleeping it off in their front yards, cars blocking their driveways, noise and disorderly conduct.
“None of the residents want to live there anymore,” another resident, Steve Rauber said.
At least one neighbor disagreed.
Sam Spencer, who moved into the Landing condominium complex 15 years ago said, “Nicky and the other restaurants are the best thing to have happened at the end of town.”
He also advised the council to filter what they were being told about the complaints; he said there was an orchestrated campaign to put the restaurant out of business.
“I’ve been solicited with talking points to come here to complain,” he said.
The anti-Nicky Rottens contingent weren’t the only ones with complaints. Restaurant owner Tim Aaron had a few of his own.
“We are the only restaurant subject to six-months review. We are the only restaurant under surveillance by the Assistant City Manager [Tom Ritter].” Aaron said.
For the past year Ritter has conducted spot checks to make sure the restaurant was complying with conditions in its encroachment permit. There were three minor issues, according to Ritter’s reports; all were corrected.
Aaron also lashed out at the conditions, which he claims were agreed to under protest, to allow him to open his business. He now calls them “unreasonable demands that make it difficult to operate.”
“We ask this time that you treat Nicky Rottens just like any other business,” he told the council.
On that point, members agreed, but perhaps not in the way Aaron had hoped.
In voting to reissue the encroachment permit, Councilwoman Carrie Downey and Councilman Mike Woiwode expressed interest in imposing similar conditions on other restaurants with outdoor service.
“Some restrictions help to keep the noise down,” Downey said.
Woiwode asked that the city look into including conditions for other restaurants on the block when their encroachment permits come up for review in January.
Those restaurants include , and .
There was also evidence that the council was losing patience with the opponents.
Downey reminded them that at one time there three bars on the block, catering to the Navy: “One for chiefs, one for enlisted and one for officers. All were far more rowdy then what is there now.”
There wasn’t even much sympathy for the residents' parking woes. “Street parking is public, not private parking for people who live there,” Councilman Al Ovrom told them.
“If you have somebody parked across they driveway, call the police, have them towed. Otherwise they have as much right to park there as you do.”