The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 3, 2012

Not so fast with the martini glass

Sculpture atop Wine Cafe granted temporary reprieve

By Dan Linehan
The Free Press

MANKATO — The 12-foot-tall martini glass sculpture atop the Wine Cafe has something of a temporary reprieve while the city reviews a proposed rooftop logo ordinance.

In November, the Planning Commission will review an ordinance regulating symbolic rooftop structures like this one, City Manager Pat Hentges said. The City Council could see a finished ordinance by the end of the year.

The ordinance, adapted from one in the Los Angeles area, would allow symbolic icons, though not signs with letters. It would also have other rules limiting their frequency — perhaps only one per block, for example.

The sculpture in Old Town has little chance of staying up without an ordinance change; it wouldn’t be a likely candidate for a lone variance.

The glass has a temporary reprieve while a long-term solution is sorted out, Wine Cafe owner Mike Baumann said.

“They seem to actually like it,” he said of city leaders. Even so, “they don’t want stuff going up on every building in town.”

He’s also sought the support of the City Center Partnership, a downtown business association.