Iowa City Officials Say 'No' to New Bar

The former Fieldhouse Bar, 113 East College Street, in Iowa City. Photo taken January 5, 2011.

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By Rachel Begle

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Iowa City don't seem interested in a Wisconsin businessman's proposal to open a new bar in a downtown building that's been empty for years.

Correspondence released Tuesday show that Josh Hurley told city council members earlier this month he was interested in opening Whiskey Jack's Saloon in the building that once housed the popular Fieldhouse bar.

Hurley operates Whiskey Jack's in Madison, which features a bar, restaurant and live entertainment. He wrote that he's in discussions to lease the empty building to open a similar concept in Iowa City.

But a city official tells Hurley that his business likely wouldn't be allowed under a regulation that requires "drinking establishments" to be 500 feet away from each other. Only a restaurant that closes before midnight would be allowed.

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