Yesterday, the City Plan Commission voted on a Special Use Permit application for The Blind Butcher. The restaurant is an upcoming Lower Greenville concept from Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling, of Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House fame. The permit in question would allow the restaurant to stay open until 2AM, as opposed to being forced to close at midnight.
Given the Texas weather, patios have gained popularity, and become an integral profit center for many local restaurants and bars. The current design for The Blind Butcher shows an interior seating space around 800 square feet, a front patio around 330 square feet, and a rear patio around 2,050 square feet. This rear patio is where the main discussion was focused during the meeting.
The application was met with opposition from some homeowners in the area. These homeowners live across an alley, a couple of large parking lots, and Summit Ave. The opposition presented arguments pointing to bad memories lingering from Service Bar, which occupied the space previously. One woman, speaking against approval, said, “They want to turn this into another Katy Trail Ice House.” Would that be such a bad thing for Lowest Greenville? Katy Trail Ice House has probably provided more tax dollars to the state and the city than almost any other bar related establishment. Maybe Buddy Cramer would have some good advice for Matt, especially with the complaints lodged by Ice House neighbors living in the Park Towers.
Concerns over noise being generated by an outdoor patio are unfounded. Under TABC classification, The Blind Butcher is a restaurant, and thus, could not have live music on the outdoor patio. Also, being a restaurant, the focus must be on the food. To keep the license, more than 50% of revenue must come from food sales. Tobin has said that the full kitchen will be open until closing.
The CPC essentially sided with the group of far away neighbors, and has restricted the Special Use Permit to only allow the use of the interior and front facing patio until 2AM, otherwise, the rear patio must close at midnight. In the area, Single Wide, Crown and Harp, Kush, and Taco Cabana all have patios, and are open until 2AM or beyond.
I think it is time that the opposition lets go of their old stigma about Greenville, and lets a local business owner run their business as allowed by the state, instead of looking through their blinds, and thinking, “nothing good happens after midnight.”