Downtown Wheeling needs new businesses badly. Yet some entrepreneurs complain city government can be less than "business-friendly." A hint of that was apparent during a Wheeling City Council meeting Tuesday.
Three local men want to open a restaurant at 1300 McColloch Street, the former site of a bar some residents of the neighborhood reportedly viewed as a nuisance.
To establish their restaurant, the business partners need city approval for it as a "redevelopment" site. Permission will have to be granted by the city Planning Commission.
During Tuesday's meeting, two councilmen spoke out against the plan. Both seem concerned the restaurant - which would serve alcohol - will become a nuisance, despite the entrepreneurs' assurances they want it to be a nice place.
Fortunately, the redevelopment proposal was approved by a 4-2 vote of council. Voting in favor were Mayor Andy McKenzie, Vice Mayor Eugene Fahey, Councilwoman Gloria Delbrugge and Councilman Don Atkinson. Voting against were Councilmen Vernon Seals and Robert "Herk" Henry.
The matter now goes to the Planning Commission, which has scheduled a public hearing on it for 6 p.m. Monday in council chambers at the City-County Building.
We know little of the proposal, other than what our reporter included in his story about the council meeting. We are very familiar with complaints about a few "nuisance" bars, however.
But rejecting a potential new business based on the limited information council members seemed to have - turning it down, in essence, because it might prove to be a problem - isn't prudent, in our opinion. That is no way to encourage new businesses in downtown Wheeling.
The majority of council members did the right thing in agreeing to at least give three entrepreneurs a chance.