You might remember we reported in May about Blind Butcher’s public hearing before the City Plan Commission, in which several neighbors testified in opposition of their back patio, but the City Plan Commission voted to “give them a shot.”
On Wednesday, Blind Butcher went before City Council, but instead of requesting to keep its back patio open until 2 a.m., Blind Butcher opted to “settle for a 3-year renewal of its current SUP,” which allows them to keep the inside of the building and the front patio open until 2 a.m., but requires them to close the back patio at midnight.
For a little background context, when City Council rezoned Lower Greenville in 2011, part of the goal was to reward “good” business owners and discourage “bad” ones that allowed underage drinking and over consumption of alcohol.
Now that short-term specific-use permits are required for bars to stay open past midnight, neighbors have the opportunity to speak up against “bad” businesses that have to renew their permits every one or two years.
Almost everyone agrees that The Blind Butcher, which opened in February, is a “good” business, but a handful of nearby neighbors say the back patio is a nuisance.
During the meeting in City Plan Commission meeting in May, neighbor Bruce Richardson said the Blind Butcher is the only business on Lower Greenville with a rear patio, and a 90-degree angle formed by the brick building’s walls amplifies sound. He and a few other neighbors say they are awakened regularly by voices bouncing off those walls and into their bedrooms.
Richardson suggested the Blind Butcher should use its front sidewalk for seating instead.
Despite the opposition, the commissioners recommended a one-year late-night permit, which would’ve allowed Blind Butcher to keep its patio open until 2 a.m., although full City Council had to approve it in order for the permit to be granted.
“After talking with representatives from the neighborhood, we came to the conclusion that it was not in the best interest of everyone involved (for Blind Butcher to keep the patio open until 2 a.m.),” says Matt Tobin, co-owner of Blind Butcher.
“This 3-year SUP has an automatic two-year renewal built into it. So as long as we abide by all of the rules set forth, we basically got a five-year SUP.”
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