BOA renews Wurst
After a sometimes contentious dialogue, the Hermann Board of Aldermen renewed two key permits related to business operations at Hermann Wurst Haus.
The permits, which were approved at the Feb. 8 BOA regular meeting, are annual renewals for outdoor liquor consumption and outdoor seating at the business, located at 234 E. First St.
Co-owner Mike Sloan appeared before the aldermen at the meeting to answer any questions on the permit applications. On the liquor renewal, Alderwoman Susan Lenger said she wanted first for the city to await the outcome of a March 5 meeting with the Missouri Department of Transportation that concerns traffic flow at the intersection of East First and Gutenberg streets. Lenger said safety for "pedestrian traffic" is her concern.
A visibly upset Mayor Bruce Cox said he didn't understand the need to wait on the MoDOT meeting prior to deciding whether to extend the renewal to Wurst Haus.
"It just does not make any sense at all," Cox said. "I'm just baffled....It has nothing to do with this."
Wurst Haus has had such permission to serve liquor outdoors for the past decade.
Aldermen David Faerber also expressed his dismay.
"I thought he had everything he needed to do this," Faerber said of Sloan, adding that local restaurants need the city's help to continue their operations during the pandemic. "You're going to put him out of business."
Sloan also exhibited some frustration at the process of obtaining the outdoor liquor renewal.
"I don't need to make a living in Hermann, Missouri," he told the board at one point.
The board voted to approve the outdoor liquor renewal for Sloan, but only after Cox broke a tie vote -- with Lenger and Alderman Jim Schirmer voting no and Faerber and Aldermen Rick Owsley voting yes.
During discussion on the outdoor seating permit renewal, Lenger said the pedestrian traffic situation at Wurst Haus is "a lot worse now. I just want it to be safe." There is a fenced opening for pedestrian traffic at the business.
On the vote to extend the seating permit, Cox again broke a tie that featured the same lineup of aldermen against the renewal as were against the outdoor liquor service at Wurst Haus.
Sloan later told the Advertiser-Courier he still plans to install vending machine technology at the business that would allow customers to purchase meats at all hours outside Wurst Haus. But he must first await the arrival of a consultant technician from Germany to assist with preparing and training on the equipment, and that the visit is being held up by travel concerns linked to the pandemic. Sloan operates Wurst Haus in tandem with his wife, Lynette.