Madison City Council upholds veto of Taco Bell liquor license

Mayor Paul Soglin’s veto of a Taco Bell liquor license will stand after the Madison City Council failed to get the votes needed to override it Tuesday.

Council members voted 9-7 in favor of overturning Soglin’s decision to block a Taco Bell Cantina, 534 State St., from selling beer and wine due to his concerns about alcohol-fueled violence Downtown. But 14 of the council’s 20 members are needed to successfully override a veto. Four members were absent Tuesday.

Soglin said “it is the cumulative effect of the volume of liquor consumed and the volume of people consuming it” that results in costly problems Downtown.

“If there’s more opportunity for alcohol sales and people to drink, that is generally making the situation worse,” said Ald. Rebecca Kemble.

Supporters of the liquor license said conditions pulled back the hours when alcohol could be served — similar to what has happened with other restaurants — and larger policy decisions about alcohol Downtown should be discussed outside the context of an individual license.

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