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You Know I’m Right!

El Paso City Council has finally figured out a way to close down a business they don’t like and caving into the demands of a few area residents who are just trying to prove they have the power to make council do what they want.  Yes, I said it.  The problem with the Monkey isn’t the Monkey or it’s patrons, it’s the residents who won’t be satisfied until the doors are closed for good.  You know I’m right!

Before you gather the villagers and light the torches against me, here’s WHY I’m right.  Before the Monkey moved in, that strip center was about as appealing as downtown Baghdad.  The Monkey moved in and before long, there were problems.  Mike Armstrong, the owner, said he was on a mission to make the Monkey the highest grossing liquor sales in the city and he did that in pretty short order.  But that success also brought drunk  bar patrons wandering into the neighborhood and doing some really unspeakable stuff in front of people’s houses.  The neighbors were rightfully hacked off at the Monkey and they got Council to put up parking signs on area streets to keep Monkey goers from using their streets to park on and their yards for gross things after hours. 

Fast forward to right now.  After years of arguing back and forth between the neighborhood association and the Monkey, two Fort Bliss soldiers got into a fight after the Super Bowl and one soldier was shot and killed.  Emma Acosta saw her chance and she asked Council to break the lease with the Monkey because of the shooting.  Mike Armstrong wonders when the airport will be shut down  because of a shooting that happened there just a couple of weeks after the Monkey shooting.  I agree with him, but there is a bigger question that Emma and Council need to answer.  Why did they agree to zone the Monkey with, originally an 800 person occupancy, Wet Ultra Lounge with another 500 person occupancy, and the Crystal Ballroom with a 600 person occupancy, in such a small strip center?

All three of those businesses operate at night and if you drive by and look at the parking lot, you can see that even if only one of those businesses is operating at capacity, the parking lot would not be able to handle the traffic.  The City should never have agreed to let all three of those nighttime businesses that sell alcohol to be in that center at once.  The problem is not the Monkey or any of the other businesses in the center, it is the City’s fault for packing in three businesses that had no business being in the same tiny shopping center. 

Now before you think I have a stake in the Monkey, let me assure you, I don’t.  I have been there probably five times in the years that it has been open even though I live literally a block away.  It really doesn’t matter to me if it stays there or not, it just bothers me that Council and a couple of people on a power trip are going to be able to close down a successful business that has bent over backward to try and make people comfortable. 

You know I’m right.

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