City leaders on Monday will consider a proposal to license pedal pubs in Wausau, a move prompted by two entrepreneurs who aim to open such a business in the coming months.

Dan Dadabo and Ashley Sampson first approached the city’s public health and safety committee in September, where they outlined their vision for a pedal pub that would take up to 16 riders on tours through the downtown Wausau area.

Pedal pubs, described as pedal-powered taverns on wheels, have seen increased popularity in some cities in recent years, including in Minneapolis, Green Bay, La Crosse and Madison. Riders typically bring their own beverages or buy them at participating businesses, then pedal the pub throughout a predefined route. A “driver,” provided by the pedal pub business, steers the rig.

Assistant City Attorney Tara Alfonso in September told committee members that state law allows pedal pubs and treats them like parks, where alcohol can be consumed as an unlicensed premise. The alcohol can be purchased from anywhere or brought from home, as long as it is in a sealed container, Alfonso said. The statutes also limits each rider to bringing no more than 36 ounces of beer of fermented malt beverages on board.

Some communities, including Madison, have reduced that limit to 24 ounces, Alfonso said.

Dadabo said the top speed of the bike is about 8 miles per hour, less than an average jogger. No glassware would be allowed, and drivers would be required to abstain from alcohol and be trained on best practices. The proposed route would snake through downtown Wausau and the riverfront area.

Alfonso drafted an ordinance that will be presented tonight’s public health and safety meeting that would allow licensed pedal pubs to operate between 10 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Businesses would be licensed, with approval by the Wausau Police Chief. Music would be prohibited, and a $2 million insurance policy is required, under the terms of the proposed ordinance.

The committee will review the proposal and discuss how much annual licensing should cost at tonight’s meeting, slated for 5:15 p.m. at City Hall. If approved, the measure will move to the full council for consideration.

Lisa Rasmussen, Pat Peckham, Becky McElhaney, Romey Wagner and Karen Kellbach are all members of the public health and safety committee.

4 replies on “City mulls pedal pub ordinance”

  1. This is great. More traffic downtown and another way to dispense alcohol. Just what the city needs. NOT! Let’s hope the full council votes this terrible idea down.

  2. Apparently a real grounded park (400 block) has a ban on alcohol before 4 p.m. with cams. The wheeled “park” is open pub at 10:30 a.m.

  3. The homeless people who used to populate the 400 Block with their 12 packs can now tour Wausau and spread their joy using a peddle pub. How great is that!

  4. Absolutely agree with both Stan and Ron above. This is lunacy. There aren’t enough bars in this town that we need idiots pedaling while they drink? But wait! “Tours”? I must have missed the sudden influx of “tourists” who are hot to drink beer and pedal their feet whilst touring scenic empty downtown…….that would take about 10 minutes to do.
    Furthermore, where exactly is the profit in this? People can bring their own beer? So who pays the drivers, the insurance (liability) and the upkeep of these things? Good God, the complete stupidity of our city government reaches new lows EVERY day.

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