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Answer Man: Play us a quiet, short song, Piano Man

Dear Answer Man, I recently complimented someone on the wonderful music she provides in the pavilion of the Gonda Building at Mayo Clinic, and I thanked her. She said I should enjoy it while I could, because as of April 1, it's going to change. Singing and piano playing will be limited to 30 minutes. I asked why and she was vague but said there were issues of patient safety and noise.

I find this rather sad as there are often many patients and visitors sitting there singing and thoroughly enjoying the gifts the music provides. Music has been proven to be helpful and soothing, the benefits of which are many.

I prefer to remain anonymous and simply sing a sad song. Please say this isn't so. Thank you for looking into this.

Yes, this is a song sung blue: Mayo is planning to put a damper on how the pianos are used in the Landow Atrium at Gonda and other public areas. I've seen a copy of a newly minted document by Mayo's Building Committee, authored by Facilities Project Services, that lays out a very detailed plan for more limited use of the pianos. Whether it's been approved is unclear, but we may find out on April Fool's Day, when it's supposed to take effect.

This might seem like a tiny deal that only Mayo would get excited about, but if you've ever wandered through the Landow Atrium, the Lips Atrium in the Charlton Building, the Mathews Grand Lobby, the Hage Atrium or the Francis Tower Lobby at Saint Marys, you know what a day-brightener it is to hear talented patients, visitors and employees tickle the ivories.


Well, get ready for less tickling. According to the memo, Mayo authorities are not amused by how the pianos are being used. The music has become too loud and programmed, and horror of horrors, "crowds have gathered, causing circulation and safety problems." So they're going to restrict the pianos to drop-by use for 30 minutes or less. And keep the lid down!

This isn't the first time Mayo has offered a variation on the piano theme. I'll link online to my most recent bagatelle on the topic. I have a call into the clinic but am not hopeful about a timely response.

Dear Answer Man, we ate at Bilotti's today and the server kept telling everyone that they were not serving alcohol for at least the next 30 days as they are between licenses. What is going on there? — Robb

Robb sent this a few days ago, and after a few days of checking, I called Bilotti's last night. Lo and behold, City Council Member Michael Wojcik had just stopped by the pizza shop at 821 Civic Center Drive NW and informed them that their liquor license application had been approved. I was told that they were planning happy hour prices all day for a week to make up for the recent dry period.

But then, whoops! This morning, Wojcik tweeted on Twitter, with the hashtag "bummer," that he erred. "Spoke with city & I delivered @BilottisPizza some bad info last night. Still working on new liquor license. Hopefully, Monday."

I won't go into the nitty-gritty, but I'm told that the license issue was the result of a business dispute with the previous license holder.

As reader Robb noted in a followup email, they have "great Chicago deep-dish pizza there."

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