It looks like the Shamrock Bar & Grill will reopen after all.
On Sept. 17, the Madison Common Council approved alcohol and entertainment licenses for business owner Robert Mahr, nearly two months after he applied for them.
Mahr celebrated the announcement on his Facebook page shortly after the council voted.
"Never give up!! Bam! License granted!! Thanks for all the support! Shammy is back!"
The Shamrock Bar closed June 30 when former owner Glenn Jahns lost his liquor license due to unpaid taxes. Mahr planned to reopen the tavern at the same location -- 117 W. Main St. -- and with a slightly different name -- Shamrock Bar & Grill.
But Mahr ran into problems when the estate of a previous owner raised objections.
Jahns purchased the tavern in 2005 from the estate of John J. O'Connell, who died in 2002. After struggling financially, Jahns declared bankruptcy and terminated his lease with property owner Larry Lichte.
In August, attorneys Richard King and Craig Stevenson, who represent the O'Connell estate, challenged Mahr's right to open his business in the same location and call it the Shamrock Bar & Grill. A Dane County Judge previously appointed attorney Rebecca DeMarb to manage the Shamrock's assets in order to sell the business to an outside buyer. DeMarb claimed (PDF) Jahns had no rights to terminate his lease with Lichte since he was unable to make timely payments on his purchase of the bar.
Mahr's attorney, Roger Sage, contacted (PDF) the city attorneyâ€™s office, disputing DeMarb's claim. He cited a Wisconsin Supreme Court case, Admanco Inc. vs. 700 Stanton Drive LLC et. Al, to support his conclusion that DeMarb had no hold on Jahns' lease. Sage declined to comment.
After reviewing a copy of the lease, DeMarb withdrew (PDF) the estate's claims, which paves the way for Mahr to open the Shamrock under his independent ownership.
Mahr could not be reached for comment on Shamrock's opening date.