Ever since Gary Lee Bomar's plans for a liquor license for Gary Lee's Motor Club and Grub came under fire by the West Wash Park Neighborhood Association, the restaurateur has been out canvassing, rounding up signatures for his petition and meeting with the Baker Historic Neighborhood Association in order to figure out how to make his vision come to life.
And though he's not totally sure what the final compromise will look like, he has made some changes to his plans.
For instance, he'll open with a much smaller patio than he originally anticipated. "Officially, I can only do a patio that's 20 percent the size of my interior," he explains. "Anything more than that needs a special permit." Which means that he'll start with 508 square feet -- about the area he'd intended to cover -- and wait a few months before applying for the expansion. He'll be closing the deck at 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on the weekends, and there won't be live music -- or even amplified music -- outside (though, he's still hoping to offer live jazz inside).
And to further mitigate the noise, Bomar has offered to put up a six foot fence parallel with Cedar Avenue, but city regulations are making that tough: "According to zoning, half of that six foot fence has to be see-through, which means I'd have to do every other picket, and that probably wouldn't help with the noise," he admits, adding that he's looking at clear materials to build the wall, instead.
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The motorcycle parking is also out -- Bomar says there was a right of way issue because of the sidewalk -- but he's considering the idea of putting in a B Cycle station, even though that process takes several months.
As for the neighborhood associations, the owner says he's currently drafting a good neighbor agreement with the Baker neighborhood, the residents of which have been mostly supportive, although they've also encouraged him to be proactive. And in Wash Park, Bomar says he's only met with about 2 percent of residents that are in opposition, so he's hoping he'll still be able to find common ground there.
He meets again with WWNPA in early July.