Squashing Shakespeare: silly entertainment permit rules

According to this story in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald, a zoning-related entertainment permit rule intended to limit disorderly drunken conduct has had the odd and unintended consequence of squashing a monthly Shakespeare reading that has been going on for years at a bar in the Old Port section of Portland. From the article:

The bar does not have an entertainment license and cannot get one because a bar next door already has one. A city ordinance prohibits any bar from having an entertainment license if another bar within 100 feet has one.

It appears to me that the city has done a rather unfair job enforcing this incredibly quirky zoning ordinance. One of the owners of the bar appears to agree:

“It’s interesting that they grapple with this versus grappling with a
place that wants to have more dancing girls in short-shorts and cowboy boots dancing on the bar,” he said.

Another quote from the story says the odd rule is “working as intended – for the most part.” While that may be true, I think it’s a terribly written and terribly enforced rule which sweeps too broadly. I’m certain Maine has laws regulating alcohol service in bars and the standard criminal mischief and public intoxication laws. I don’t see why those laws can be enforced, and let those who want their Shakespeare have it, even if the venue is next door to, say, a rock/heavy metal bar.

(Story originally found from a Laughing Stalk post.)