Live music returns to Dusty’s

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December 26, 2012
By: Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

SHERIDAN — Soon Dusty’s Bar will be able to host live music again, after the Minneapolis Zoning Board of Adjustment approved a non-conforming use permit for the bar at a hearing on Dec. 13.

In a surprise decision on the day of the hearing, Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) reversed its original recommendation to deny Dusty’s a non-conforming use permit.

Dusty’s has not hosted any bands since late July, after business licensing inspection revealed its zoning designation and liquor license did not allow for live music.

In the days leading up to the hearing, CPED received several additions to the information Dusty’s had already submitted in its application. This included affidavits from 10 longtime Dusty’s customers attesting that Dusty’s “offered live music or entertainment ... on a frequent and occurring basis” since years ranging from 1951-1983.

Owner Pat Stebe and bartender Melissa Riesgraf also submitted affidavits explaining that Dusty’s had always operated as bar — with food sales below 30 percent of total gross sales revenue — and had offered live music consistently since at least the 1950s.

“I would say a combination of [those additions] plus the additional record that had been submitted, upon review with the zoning administrators and city attorney, staff was able to make a recommendation for approval,” said Shanna Sether, Senior City Planner for the City of Minneapolis.

Dusty’s enjoyed near-unanimous support from neighborhood residents, who packed the hearing at City Hall. Still, the non-conforming use permit only solved the zoning half of the issue. Music will not be allowed at Dusty’s until they receive a Class B liquor license. Currently Dusty’s has a Class E liquor license, which costs $2,524 less than a Class B license.

Stebe and Dusty’s staff refused several requests for comment on the story.