9OYS Continuing Coverage
'The Mint' bar granted liquor license; male entertainment show to start
Reporter: Kevin Keen
Web Producer: Rikki Mitchell
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Drinking and dancing will continue at The Mint. The state liquor board approved the midtown bar's alcohol license after the city denied it and neighbors protested granting it. The license means The Mint's owners will go ahead with controversial plans to add male strip shows.
"We were elated. It's been a long, hard battle," co-owner Ricardo Garcia told 9 On Your Side.
Garcia said he prevailed because the law is on his side.
"All the board wanted to know about is: Were we qualified, capable and reliable? All along. That's all they wanted to know," he said.
The state's decision allows the drinks to keep flowing at the decades-old bar. It also means The Mint's owners will move forward with plans for male strip shows.
"The Wild Boys show is a choreographed show," Garcia said. "It's fun and frivolity."
Fun and frivolousness for some; smut and sin for others, according to some neighbors. The Palo Verde Neighborhood Association protested earlier this year and successfully lobbied Tucson City Council to deny The Mint owners a liquor license transfer.
The state's recent over-ruling disappointed association president Ronni Kotwica.
"As we have all said, we will just maintain our vigilance and if anything occurs that's negative, we will report it," Kotwica said.
Neighbors now keeping a close eye, reporting any possible noise or drinking violations.
"The hope is that they will be good, responsive neighbors and businesspeople,"
9 On Your Side also wanted to know: What exactly will be going on inside The Mint?
"It's not going to be a strip club," Garcia said. "We're only going to have The Wild Boys two nights a week and then we're going to have an 'Afternoon Delight'show."
Shows with dancers, but no nudity, Garcia said.
"It's tastefully fun," he Garcia. "Professionally done."
Garcia argued objectors haven't seen the show as it'll appear in the establishment and some neighbors and businesses supported the change.
Garcia said he plans to build onto the building before the strip shows start. That could be two to three months from now. He also wants to add a female go-go dancer show.