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Cigar City vs. Tampa City Council Update 1

It’s been less than an hour since my first post about this and already there is some more information.  Joey Redner, founder and owner of Cigar City, has posted a blog up on the whole situation.  I am pasting it exactly as is below.

Last Thursday we went to get our temporary wet-zoning made permanent and to extend our hours of operation. Since we have operated for two years without incident this should have been a rubber stamp. But, due to politics, a willful lack of understanding and what I personally believe is just a downright embracing of unfair practices, we got a 3-3 vote (you need 4 yes votes) and had to reschedule.

Our next trip in front of the Tampa City Council will be December 2nd. My birthday. We need 4 votes at this meeting and a following one or we lose our wet-zoning on the 16th of December. This means no more Tasting Room, no more special events, no more limited release parties, no beer for sell, at all, at the Tasting Room.

We have had no incidents at the Tasting Room. There has never been a police call for the brewery. We have never been cited for any violations. In short, we have shown, through our actions not our words, that we are a responsible business and neighbor. And oh by the way, while the economy has been stumbling along we have gone from 2 employees to 22. And some of those employees are in danger of losing their jobs because some members on the city council lack leadership and critical reasoning skills.

I don’t know if we can change any minds. Some bias runs too deep. But I am humbly asking of everyone that supports craft beer in the Bay Area to help us. If you ever wondered why Florida is often considered a beer wasteland, dealing with provincial politicians and unfair laws is one of the reasons.  And we have run headlong into that fact many times. This is just another iteration of the climate breweries have to operate in here.

This is what you can do to try to help. Contact ALL of the members of City Council. If you live in the city and vote, tell them so. If you live outside the city or the state, tell them Cigar City Brewing is one of the reasons you come into the city to spend money. In short, let the council know that Tampa having a craft beer scene is important to you. Handwritten letters (addresses are int he links) are always more personal, but if you simply do not have time there is an online contact for each member. And there is a phone # for each member as well. Feel free to call and let the members know that CCB and craft beer are important to you.

These are the three members of Council who voted against us.

Gwen Miller
Thomas Scott
Curtis Stokes

These are those Council members who voted for us, let them know that you appreciate that they looked at evidence and fact and were not swayed by unsubstantiated claims.

Mary Mulhern
Yvonne Yoli Capin
Joseph Caetano

Finally, the member who was absent. Let Charlie Miranda know you support CCB and craft beer and are counting on his yes vote on December 2nd.

Charlie Miranda

I want to tank everyone for their support. When I look back at the last two years and see the growth we have had it both amazes and humbles me. And I know that any success we have had is due to our loyal supporters who buy our beer and spread the word to others. We appreciate and value that support and regret that we must lean on you again, but we truly do need your help again desperately.

The CCB Staff and Joey Redner

If you are in the Tampa area please write these people.  I’m sure anyone can write them but probably people close to the area or in Tampa will have more of an impact on their decisions.

Help keep our economy going and keep people employed because shutting down the tasting room will do nothing to help our struggling economy and unemployment rates.

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  • Reply Cigar City Magazine

    I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Joey since he opened Cigar City Brewing and not only do I love the beer but his tastings have always been delightful. I’ve been to many bars in Tampa and can honestly say I prefer the Tasting Room to most of the bars in Tampa. I have never ever seen anything bad go down at the brewery and would find it ridiculous that the Tampa City Counsel would deny their wet-zoning. We finally have a nice place to go to and the city wants to interfere with that? I just wonder what our 90,000 readers in Tampa will say about this.

    Joey, we got your back and I’m dialing Charlie Miranda’s phone number right now!

    Lisa M. Figueredo
    Owner of Cigar City Magazine

    November 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm
  • Reply Cigar City Magazine

    I just spoke to Charlie Miranda’s office and they say Charlie voted for the zoning last time, and did not have a problem with it, they are aware there has been no problems and cannot see why the three people on the council said NO, Charlie was in Cuba and they are waiting for his return to let him know about the vote…but they thought it was only for the extension of hours on Friday & Sat from 11 to midnight, either way I expressed my dislike on the 3 no votes, they also told me they are getting bombarded with emails…so keep it going

    November 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply Mike

    That is great news Lisa. Thank you for the info.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply Cigar City Magazine

    Charlie Miranda’s office just called and confirmed Joey may not get wet-zoning, he needs Charlie’s vote, they did say however he may not have to go and speak again but maybe Charlie can listen to video from last request and vote..I feel really bad for Joey he has set up a great tasting room and now these people want to take it way, but I think Charlie will vote yes…FYI, I heard it from a good source that Gwen Miller voted NO because of Joe Redner Sr., Joey’s Dad… that’s just wrong, if that is true she should dismiss herself..KEEP CALLING (813) 274-7074 and insist Charlie vote yes!

    November 11, 2010 at 7:42 am
  • Reply Mike

    Again great information Lisa. I know we all appreciate you let us know all of this!

    November 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm
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