Omaha City Council rejects bikini bar liquor license. But that doesn't seal bar's fate

Candyland is seeking a liquor license as it moves into the former Mt. Fuji Inn at 7215 Blondo St. The Japanese restaurant closed after more than 40 years in Omaha.

More than 300 protests have been lodged with the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission about a proposed bikini bar in Omaha.

“It’s a record, as far as I can tell,” said Hobert Rupe, the executive director of the commission since 2004.

There have been so many complaints that the hearing for the bikini bar, known as Candyland, has been moved to the Nebraska State Capitol . Rupe said it’s only the third time during his tenure that the commission has been forced to move to a bigger venue because so many members of the public wanted to weigh in.

The hearing is now set for Oct. 10 at 9:30 a.m.

In July, the Omaha City Council unanimously voted to recommend that the commission deny a liquor license for the bikini bar after more than 30 people showed up to a council meeting to protest the liquor license application.

The bikini bar would have women in swimsuits dancing onstage and separate rooms for private dances.

The bar’s proposed location, near 72nd and Blondo Streets at the former Mt. Fuji Inn, and its name upset parents and other business owners.

Opponents objected to the bar’s proximity to schools, expressed concern that the bar would harm surrounding businesses and said the name would prompt tricky questions from inquisitive children headed to school.

The bar’s owner, Ray Kurtzuba, agreed to change the name of the bar to Kandi’s, but that didn’t sway the City Council.

Kurtzuba also told the council that women in bikinis would not be seen entering and leaving the bar, that there would be no windows for people to look in and that children could find worse on their laptop computers.

The liquor commission will make the final decision on the liquor license.

A representative for the city will explain the recommended denial, and the bar will have a chance to respond.

Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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