Bryce Parr –
Rehab, the popular bar on Broadway Street, is reopening soon with a new dance hall license. The tavern has been closed since the Menomonie City Council unanimously voted to refuse the renewal of Rehab’s liquor license. The decision was made after police issued 116 citations to rehab patrons, including 45 underage infractions.
With the new dance hall license, the tavern will be able to host live bands and disk jockeys. They will not be able to serve alcohol.
Some students are worried that without alcohol, the business will have a hard time competing with the bars and taverns nearby.
University of Wisconsin-Stout senior Tanner Verber said “It’s not a great idea. It’ll do well for two months and close down.” Verber also believes that alcohol may still be a problem. “All it takes is a flask in the waistband,” Verber said.
UW-Stout Senior Erika Hearden, who frequented Rehab before it closed, also has reservations. “I think it sounds cool, but I don’t know how many people will choose to go there on weekends if they don’t serve alcohol. I think if it catches on, it will be successful,” Hearden said.
UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer sent a letter to Mayor Randy Knaack and City Administrator Lowell Prange urging them to refuse the renewal of Rehab’s liquor license. Chancellor Meyer admitted in the letter that UW-Stout has a problem with high-risk drinking. “We now have a real chance to move forward from this situation and work together to address the scourge of high-risk alcohol use and its many consequences,” Chancellor Meyer said in a blog post after the City Council voted against renewal.
Brandon Berg, UW-Stout senior and member of the DJ group SO CALLED, offered his own criticism. “Rehab was a fun bar, but they didn’t have much for local music talent. If they can bring in more local talent like Bands and DJs they might be able to bring more people in the door. A dancehall really thrives from a fun atmosphere and a solid lineup. They can’t survive on the classic top 40 hits most other bars play,” Berg said.
Rehab hasn’t announced any opening dates yet, but more info will be available online soon.