Published on April 9th, 2015 |2
NPU-B hears first of new city liquor licenses for patio service
Neighborhood Planning Unit-B Public Safety Committee members found themselves dealing with an apparent new city license requirement for outside dining areas with two restaurants’ liquor license applications, which spilled over to the meeting of the full board an hour later.
Istanblue, on the ground level of the Eclipse condo development, 262 Pharr Road, and Buckhead Saloon, 3227 Roswell Road, were the two restaurants before the Public Safety Committee Tuesday seeking approval for a new patio license to serve alcoholic beverages.
Andrea Bennett, chairperson for the NPU-B board, clarified in an email to BuckheadView why the restaurants were even seeking approval for a new alcohol license.
“It is my understanding that restaurants…that have been serving alcohol on their patios are now required by the city to have a separate license,” Bennett said. “Our Public Safety Committee heard these applications and recommended approval.”
The issue of the patio licenses was first brought before the NPU-B committee and board during the meetings April 7 with the applications by the two restaurants.
“Subsequently we learned that there had been objections to sound and hours of operation at these two locations,” Bennett added. “We therefore removed them from the consent agenda so that they could be discussed by the full NPU board.”
At the full board meeting, a couple of residents from residential buildings that are in the area of the restaurants confirmed complaints had been lodged that both restaurants were disrupting
tenants with loud noise, seemingly stemming from the patios.
Although representatives from the restaurants had been present at the 6 p.m. Public Safety Committee meeting, they were not present at the 7 p.m. meeting of the full board to defend themselves against the complaints.
The notion was floated at the full board meeting that because representatives of the restaurants knew that the applications were approved at the earlier committee meeting that they would subsequently be passed at the full board meeting without further discussion.
The full board did end up approving both of the restaurants’ applications, but not without discussion and not without a few suggestions.
“The board voted to recommend approval, but noted that some nearby residents had expressed strong objections to noise and hours of operation, and we included those comments in our report to the city,” said Bennett.
Bennett added that the decision to grant or deny alcohol applications is ultimately made by the City of Atlanta’s License Review Board.
With the new license requirement, there is a strong likelihood that more Buckhead restaurants could come face-to-face with the NPU-B Public Safety Committee and full board, as more residents are encouraged to bring similar complaints about noise and late hours.