Rochester City Officials.... Downtown is dying on the vine. Businesses are barely hanging on. BARELY...The Downtown Tap...
ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester's Tap House is a popular establishment. Both of the pub's locations are known for accommodating staff and a colossal collection of fine beers. Like so many pubs and eateries, though, the Tap House is suffering during this pandemic. That frustration boiled over into an angry post made by the establishment on its own Facebook page this week.
The post is a long diatribe accusing the city and its leaders of indifference. The author laments a lack of grants coming to the Tap House from CARES act relief and says the establishment hasn't received any of the well-documented liquor license relief made available to restaurants and bars. The post says city leaders aren't helping.
City Council member Michael Wojcik says the Tap House has received liquor license relief and was disappointed by the post.
"You know, you see these posts come up that are just flat out false," Wojcik said during an afternoon Zoom interview. "Not only are they false, but they're also easily verifiable that they're false, but it gets spread 500 times before the truth comes out."
The accusation that the city isn't doing enough to help small businesses stung Rochester Mayor Kim Norton.
"Despite all we're doing, there seems to be anger," the mayor said. "It seems to be sadly focused on the city rather than the pandemic."
The mayor took issue with the allegation that city leaders have been unconcerned with the plight of small businesses.
"The city council almost from the first week of the pandemic focused on getting money into the hands of businesspeople and supporting them," the mayor said. "It has been our priority."
This reporter stopped into the Tap House's West End location this afternoon and spoke with co-owner Christine Stahl. She declined to offer any comment on this story.