Judge's stay allows Social House II to serve alcohol again - KMOV.com

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Judge's stay allows Social House II to serve alcohol again

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UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Social House II will be able to serve liquor again after a judge issued a stay on Friday.

March 11, officials voted to strip the controversial establishment of its liquor license. The stay requires officials to return the restaurant's liquor license.

John Racanelli, owner of Social House II, says he is glad to see things back to normal.

"That's what it's all about, is taking care of my customers. I've been in business my whole life and I have other businesses and I serve my customers. That's what I'm here for," said Racanelli.

The restaurant employs topless waitresses who wear body paint. Many nearby residents and businesses oppose it being open for that reason. The owner of the building Social House II occupies said he will not renew the operator’s lease when it expires in March, 2017.

University City has looked into other ways to shut the bar down, including ordinance changes, and moves to make it tough for the operator to obtain the proper permits.

During the second week of March, City Manager Lehman Walker told News 4 Social House II is in violation of several city codes and is facing a fine of $1,000 a day for every code violation. Social House II said it plans to stay open. 

Al Watkins, an attorney for Social House II, said the backlash from the city is nothing but a double standard.

"Right across the street, the Craft Alliance there for the public eye to see is a big statue of a naked woman and we are supposed to be shocked and dismayed?" said Watkins. 

Watkins said he is confident that one day both parties can sit down and come to some sort of understanding, so the back and forth will stop.

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