A new bar and restaurant wants to add outdoor dining to attract customers, but neighbors worry it will cause late-night noise.
Mark Zierath plans to open Blue Ribbon Pub in the former Jo Jo's Pizza & Pub building, 11302 W. Bluemound Road. He has asked the city for permission to add outdoor seating along the building's front and its east side, which faces a residential neighborhood.
Gina Palen, who lives directly across from the business, said there are already noise issues. With kids in the home, she opposed the proposed keeping the outdoor seating available until midnight daily.
'We've already got smokers talking and giggling out there,' Palen said.
Neighbor Ann Kammerer suggested seating be moved to the west side, next to a parking lot and other commercial businesses.
'I'm glad that this new restaurant is going in,' she said. 'It just could get pretty loud outdoors in the evening.'
In an effort to offer a compromise, the Plan Commission on Tuesday night unanimously recommended allowing the outdoor seating as long as it ends by 10 p.m. Neighboring Guadalupe Mexican Restaurant ends its outdoor seating at that time.
Zierath said the majority of the seating, which he estimated would accommodate up to 48 people, would be placed along the front and he anticipated peak use during lunch and early evenings.
Heating and ventilation equipment on the west side of the building wouldn't provide room for outdoor seating. In addition, prohibiting the patio from wrapping around the east side would hurt the design aesthetic, he said.
'The building needs a little work,' Commissioner Jody Lowe said. 'If you can do this right, it could be an improvement.'
The patio plans still need to go to the Design Review Board and the Community Development Committee for approval.
WHAT: The Community Development Committee will decide whether to allow outdoor dining at Blue Ribbon Pub, 11302 W. Bluemound Road
WHEN: 8 p.m. Feb. 28
WHERE: City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave.