The Blind Butcher Faces Opposition

blind butcherBy Scott Shtofman

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.

back barback bar under construction

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.”

34 Comments

Filed under Scott Shtofman

34 responses to “The Blind Butcher Faces Opposition

  1. jrd

    Anyone in opposition needs to visit Goodfriend, they might as well be called Goodneighbor.

  2. JF

    So neighbors down in lowest Greenville are complaining about the bar scene noise at night? Would be like a Las Vegas resident complaining about gambling happening in their city…Matt and Josh do great things for the areas they have businesses, look at what Peavy and Buckner used to look like. On top of that, there is always some sort of charity event happening at Goodfriend. Residents should be more worried about what their area is going to look like after Trader Joes comes in. Even with that huge parking lot i bet there will be difficulties with parking/traffic.

    • TexMarine

      As a homeowner in the lowest of Lower Greenville, I’d encourage you to visit the area sometime. A lot has changed, mostly with the now practically non-existent bar scene. As much as a fan of Goodfriend, etc; we’re not interested in returning Lower Greenville to the days of vomit and piss. If they want their extra 2 hours, pick a location on Henderson and deal with the SMU crowd.

      • lg

        Open til 2am automatically means piss and vomit. Ur retarded and by that logic shouldnt you move to a quiter neighbor hood? Bars were there before you.

  3. eula

    Those neighbors are not that far away – if there were large groups of people on the back patio, talking and other noises would be audible at those houses – go look at the proximity of the patio to the houses.

    Just because we live off lower Greenville doesn’t mean we signed up for loud noise until 2am. One should be able to live in an area with things to do and places to go without being kept up all night. I think The Blind Butcher sounds like a great business but part of being a great business in a residential neighborhood is being a good neighbor to residents of the neighborhood. The compromise of closing the back patio at midnight sounds great and they still get to have the inside and front open until 2am- where is the downside? I think we can all be happy with that. Goodfriend and Vickery Park do not have patios that are directly adjacent to houses so comparing the two to this location doesn’t make sense. Single Wide, Crown and Harp, Kush, and Taco Cabana also do not have back patios that face houses- they all face the street.

    BTW the” local opposition” is the MAIN thing that got the bad businesses to leave lowest Greenville and what made the turn around that is happening now possible. Those old businesses were given free reign “allowed by the state” and they ruined lowest Greenville and brought crime into our residential areas. Don’t naysay the “local opposition” too much because they caused the change on the street that makes any of these new quality businesses even want to have a business there in the first place!

    • For Real.

      “Just because we live off lower Greenville doesn’t mean we signed up for loud noise until 2am.”

      Actually it means that you did sign up for that. If you don’t like living in a true urban mix use area, I am sure Frisco would love to have your tax dollars. The market is great now. You should sell now.

      • TexMarine

        Complete and total bullshit. Did you ever stop to consider that some may have RECENTLY moved to the area because it is in transition? People are moving here with the intent of feeding this change. Would you say that the residents of the Fair Park area have no right to want to change their neighborhood or to fit your narrative they should accept crack and crime? Why don’t YOU move down here and fight to keep it the way you expect it?

      • eula

        Nope – in fact most of lower Greenville residential streets are quiet at night – mine is – I never hear bar noise and I have lived here for 9 years. I am sure the houses that are close to the Blind Butcher had relative quiet before this as well. We do not live ON Greenville Avenue!! It is first and foremost a residential area in Vickery Place/Belmont/Greenland Hills/Lowest Greenville West with a small minority of structures being zoned for anything other than residential use. I don’t live in a mixed use area – my street and the people who are close to the BB back porch live in a residential only area. They live adjacent to a Community Retail zoned area – which btw in a CR zoned area you are not allowed by right to have a bar – the had to apply for the SUP to have a bar there at all. I hate Frisco, so no that won’t be happening. 85% of the tax dollars in this area come from the houses not the businesses. No I did not sign up for noise until 2am – you can try to school me all you want but you will not convince me that the rights of a new business trumps the rights of a homeowner. Don’t tell me to sell my house asshat. : ) Have a lovely day!

      • Stephen G

        “Just because we live off lower Greenville doesn’t mean we signed up for loud noise until 2am.”
        It certainly does mean you signed up for that. I moved down here for that.

        It’s part of what makes living down here great, that I can hurl a baseball and hit a bunch of bars, that’s how close they are to me. That’s a pretty great feature of living so close to bars. THAT’S what I call walking distance.
        If you live as close as I do and bitch about noise from bars… You must be high.

  4. WD

    These neighborhood watch dogs are such hypocrites as they enjoy the convenience of being able to walk to restaurants and bars and are quick to hit them up for donations to their kids school fundraisers. They need to be more concerned about Trader Joes traffic jams.

  5. eula

    Hmmmm….so we are hypocrites because we use the restaurants and bars in our neighborhood but at the same time want to have the restaurant/bar be an asset to the neighborhood and not keep us up all night? TJs will be crowded for a while and who said we aren’t concerned? Then the Knox location will open and the traffic will be lighter. Our neighborhoods are already planning for traffic snags from the opening of TJs – are you suggesting we should have not allowed them to open on Greenville? I’m confused by that statement. We certainly won’t let TJs open a patio next to residences that is open until 2am if they try!

  6. gbottlerockett

    Actually, goodfriend literally borders a residence and we aren’t hearing any whining over there. It seems like the Lowest Greenville residents like to have something to gripe about.

  7. RIPZubar

    Eula is mad … Lowest Greenville sucks now…RIP Zubar

  8. quitchabitchinormove

    Yes living anywhere close to Greenville it is going to be noisy. You move across from a bar and get mad it is loud, hmm. Let them have it open till 2am like the state allows. This city NEEDs more late night dinning spots. They add to your tax dollars.

    • TexMarine

      You don’t live down here do you? If you did, you’d realize that it has changed and the bad bars are already gone, or recently closed.

  9. velociped

    I think the identities of all who oppose the SUP and the businesses they own or with whom they are employed be made public. That would allow those who have the courage of our convictions — WRT boycotting irrational and irresponsible businesses — to punish them for their opposition. Action always speaks louder than words and I’m willing to act according to my conscience.

    • David Wilson

      The names of the speakers opposing the SUP application at the hearing are public record. They sign little yellow cards, and/or you can listen to the tape. You can also submit an open records request for the yellow cards and the letters submitted in opposition to the SUP.

      Seek and ye shall find.

      • David Wilson

        I apologize for a second post…
        One of the opposing parties is Bruce Richardson, who lives about two blocks north of the Blind Butcher spot. He’s a local musician, looks like Jesus (long hair) and has a recording studio inside his house (hello, tax collector?).
        Another is Sheryl Kellis, who lives on Summit Avenue.
        It’s important to note here – The noise that will be created by the food truck park on the same block as Blind Butcher, but down on Sears street, will be worse than the patio noise. There’s no building between the food truck park and the first row of residential homes to block the noise.

  10. Brian Houston

    As a first time home buyer this past spring, let me just say this…the first thing I paid attention to was the location. If you choose to live close to Greenville you choose to live close to restaurants and bars. If you didn’t foresee that being an issue then you’re an idiot and don’t have a right to complain. Sell your house and choose a location further away from major streets

    • David Wilson

      Mr. Houston, your rationale is flawed. You assume that everything stays the same except your house. What existed 25 years ago does not mean it’s there today. Just because you moved here yesterday means time should come to a halt all around you.
      What about the people who moved here 50 years ago, and yes, they do exist? Does that mean time should come to a halt for their benefit?
      While the process sucks for the businesses, understand that there are people who have lived here for 30 40 or 50 years. All they want is for the businesses to operate in a legal manner. And if that means no noise from the bars being heard in houses two blocks away, so be it.

      • For Real.

        So by your own logic. Time has not stood still, and the area is a late night attraction. Hence, those that have been there 20+ years have the right to move to an area that better suits them now. They could make a mint right now anyway.

  11. Tim Skeene

    Dallas is becoming unfriendly to restaurants , so they may keep the flagship location going but new expansion is going to the burbs , and yes you can kill growth again leaders of Big D

  12. eula

    Lower Greenville is getting less sucky by the day – so no, I am not mad at all! We finally have businesses that aren’t primarily bars- yay! BTW you overreactors out there need to realize that The Blind Butcher is allowed to be open in the front and inside until 2 – the only thing that has to close at midnight is the back patio – no one is keeping them from opening.

    • Bryan

      Just to clarify – the back patio is 65% of their square footage. The lack of economies of scale kick in at some point and makes it difficult to keep anything open. I won’t presume to understand or know their business case / business model, but I don’t believe this is the grand compromise you keep implying in your posts.

      • eula

        So 65% of their square footage has to close two hours earlier than the rest – I don’t think that is going to kill them. After 12am I would venture to guess the only sales they are making are liquor sales anyway. No one is saying they shouldn’t have a back patio – just close that portion at midnight. If they are truly a kid/family/neighborhoody spot then what kid/family/baby/dog owner is going to be there between 12-2am? That is when it becomes just another bar.

  13. eula

    Food truck park doesn’t stay open until 2am though

  14. Lakewood Resident

    So we tax payers spend $1.1 million beautifying that part of Greenville Avenue — widening the sidewalks so that patios can be added facing Greenville, landscaping, crosswalks, etc. – so that we can now drive people to an outdoor patio/bar in the alley and rear parking lot? The Blind Butcher WON their SUP. They can stay open until 2:15AM on the front patio (the patio facing Geenville Avenue that we tax payers gave them FOR FREE) and inside their restaurant. The neighborhood/residents had no problem with that and supported that part of Blind Butcher’s SUP completely – and said so numerous times during the CPC hearing. The only thing the residents opposed was their outdoor 2000+ sq. ft. rear bar/patio (an open air structure that is TWICE as large as The Singlewide) staying open after midnight. All of the other patios mentioned in the original article are not in the alley and are not facing people’s front porches. This is just good ‘ole fashion compromise folks and quite honestly, the Blind Butcher got the best end of the deal.

  15. David Wilson

    @ For Real

    Sorry, I can’t connect this comment to yours in the same box.
    Like most people shilling for a specific benefit at the expense of others, you mix up the words ‘right’ and ‘option’.
    I have a right to free speech (hence this blog).
    I have a right to worship in peace at the church of my choice.
    I have the option of living anywhere I please, as long as I pay the bills.
    But you do not have the option of telling anyone they need to move in order to make you happy (or in this case, allow BB to have their patio).
    I suggest you and your friends learn to play by the rules, whether you like them or not, and stop telling people to move just because you want to keep all your toys on your side of the playpen.

  16. The whole opposition against the restaurant and the outdoor patio is ludicrous. I was there at the SUP hearing, and the opposition’s representative kept talking about how there was nothing between the patio and the homes behind it. Try looking at a Google Maps image of the area. Go ahead…I’ll wait. Ready? Ok.

    The opposition rep said there was nothing between the houses & the patio except a parking lot. I’m actually counting 3 full parking lots. He also made a point of saying how it was nothing but sound-reflecting concrete that lay in the “no man’s land”. I see trees, fences, buildings…there’s MORE THAN 500 FEET between the back of the patio & the nearest house. I live on Henderson, LESS THAN 400 FEET from the patio of Vickery Park, and there is nothing between my wall and the patio there (except a few thousand cars going way too fast) and I’ve never heard bar noise inside my home.

    The fact of the matter is that the old maids that live in the area, especially on Summit Ave, think that Blind Butcher is going to be another Service Bar, which makes them assume things about Matt & Josh & the Blind Butcher that aren’t true. You don’t want the same types of bars that were there 10 years ago? Then the Blind Butcher, and Matt & Josh as owners, are the type of place that you need to have in this space!!!

    I’d have them visit Goodfriend and see the neighborhood pub atmosphere than many bars attempt at but fail. There are dogs & kids & babies & families sitting and eating and drinking with hipsters & young couples & bikers. I’ve never felt more at home at a bar that didn’t require years of patronage than I have at one of Matt & Josh’s bars, and I really think that has to do with the type of people Matt & Josh are.

    • GetOffTheirNuts

      Everyone in opposition is a moron, I’ve been a resident on Greenville ave. for 9 years…in apartments no less all up and down the street not EVEN 200 feet away from the bars and have never been bothered. Move to the burbs, that’s where you belong.

  17. Johnny T

    Hey, I’VE got an idea! Why don’t we just mow it all down and make Lower Greenville one HUGE retirement community where Matlock reruns can be enjoyed in peace and have lights out by 8 PM. Sounds reasonable, right?!?

    Oh wait, that’s already been done. :/ Thanks old money…

  18. rob d

    The city ideally wants to see lower Greenville turn into a boutique restaurant/retail row to show off all the culinary talent going through DFW. Im sure the the Bearded Butler will have decent food but yes those guys are in the business to make money off drunktard hipsters and that location isn’t the best fit for what they’re trying to achieve. The SUP is their and the residents now have the upper hand so work with it or go somewhere else.

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