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Marion Could Change Bar Rule

MARION, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- The Marion city council has cast the first of three votes in favor of changing a local ordinance that prohibits bars from being built within 200 feet of churches.

The city council held a public hearing on the issue Thursday night, and the business community showed up in favor of changing the rule, saying, not allowing bars uptown would severely limit the growth and revitalization Marion is experiencing right now.

It all started after local attorney and aspiring brewer Jeff Robison petitioned the city to revisit the rule. The location he wants to open his taproom is just across the street from three different churches.

But Robison says his is a family mission: he wanted to start the brewery because his daughter, son-in-law, and new grandson were far away -- and he missed them.

"I was perpetually having the wheels turn about, well, how can I convince them to move from Colorado where the weather's perfect 90 percent of the time and you've got mountains -- and the answer, of course, lied in beer," Robison said.

So he hatched an idea with his other son-in-law Robert, who had recently realized a talent for home brewing, that they'd start up a taproom. That's how Another Road Brewing was born.

It's nothing fancy -- right now it's in the basement of Robison's law firm -- but it's their dream.

"We want to follow our passion and do what we do best," he said.

And though there were concerns at the hearing about how close the bars would potentially be to schools, the overall consensus from city leaders was that this would be good for uptown development. .

Uptown Marion Program Director Nick Glew said this paves the way for so many more businesses to start up in the area.

"It's really about removing an economic barrier that we feel will be positive for the entire Uptown district," Glew said.

Robison said, if the council continues to approve the change, he'd like to open Another Road Brewing on March 1.
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