Twisted Roses will have a new owner.
The Brainerd City Council Monday, by a 5-2 vote, approved the transfer of the liquor license for the bar located at 305 S. Seventh St., from Twisted Roses owner Christopher Searles to Rooster Marccarelli, who will rename the bar Rooster's Bar.
In a memo to the city council, Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc stated that there was nothing in the background investigation of Marccarelli that would disqualify him from receiving the license.
However, based on a settlement agreement between Searles and the city made during a special city council meeting May 11 to consider sanctions against Searles for allegations of misconduct, including serving alcohol to intoxicated customers and assaulting a juvenile, the liquor license will remain suspended until July 1.
Voting against transferring the liquor license were council members Bob Olson and Mary Koep. Olson questioned Marccarelli's finances, based on information contained in the background investigation. Olson said with the $85,000 loan Marccarelli received he wouldn't be able to run the bar.
"I think we ought to also look at financial wherewithal of a person when we transfer liquor license," said Olson. "I think we'd be doing you (Marccarelli) a favor by denying you this license."
Ray Charpentier, Marccarelli's attorney, noted that his client was borrowing the money from his mother, who had no problem with the loan. Charpentier also noted Marccarelli's background in the military, in police training and in various community organizations.
"I'm not sure what perceptions people have of him, but if they're not good, they're not right," said Charpentier.
Koep wished Marccarelli well, but said she voted against the license transfer because it was a chance for the city to reduce the number of bars downtown.
Voting in favor, council member Kelly Bevans said while he is sympathetic of some council members' belief that the number of bars needs to be reduced in downtown Brainerd, the business is a free enterprise that is legal and has existed in societies throughout time.
"It may not be for me, but as far as the community on the whole, it's been shown these do serve a place in society for entertainment, legal entertainment," said Bevans. "There are opportunities to abuse many areas of society, and liquor is only one of them."
Searles had owned Twisted Roses since 2001. In 2003 he was disciplined by the city council for serving alcohol after closing time. In that incident he was ordered to keep Twisted Roses closed one day a week for five consecutive weeks.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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