Discussion of Foothill neighborhood pub turns into brouhaha
Zoning • Some neighbors fear Brew-Ha-Ha would be noisy and a create safety hazard.
Published: June 21, 2013 09:47PM
Updated: June 21, 2013 11:26PM

The owners of a proposed pub near 2100 East and 1300 South in Salt Lake City plan to call it Brew-Ha-Ha. So far, it’s lived up to the moniker.

A neighborhood open house hosted by Salt Lake City at Anderson-Foothill Library turned into an emotional brouhaha Thursday evening when owners Bryce Jones and Gene Pohlman tried to explain to worried residents what the pub would bring to the area.

“We’re not going to have a place that’s a dark, smoky cave,” Jones told the crowd of about 100. “I think it will appeal to people 21 to 81.”

Brew-Ha-Ha will offer coffee and light breakfast beginning at 6 a.m. and will have a drive-up window, the owners explained. In compliance with Utah law, it will serve beer with 3.2 percent alcohol content from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. The pub’s lunch and dinner menu will feature deli-style food with sandwiches and soups. It will operate seven days a week.

Including seating for 57 outside, the pub will have a capacity of 148, Jones said.

Jones and Pohlman must first obtain a conditional use permit from Salt Lake City. They have applied but have yet to appear on the agenda of the Planning Commission, which hears such requests.

Some residents at the open house welcomed the pub as a neighborhood meeting place where adults could relax.

But most in attendance feared it would create a safety hazard for pedestrians and cyclists, produce noise late at night, and not least, create parking problems on residential streets nearby.

According to Jones, the Brew-Ha-Ha property has 17 parking spaces. And, he said, there are about 100 public parking spaces near the pub on 1300 South and 2100 East.

But Marie Cornwall, who lives nearby on Sherman Avenue, said the neighborhood has been through this before with the Dodo restaurant. Its patrons parked on residential streets.

“I don’t want people looking for their cars in front of my house at 2 a.m.,” she said. “The dogs will be barking.”

Another area resident, Kimerly Wagstaff, said the neighborhood already has two gas stations, two markets and a dozen restaurants that serve alcohol.

“We already have alcohol density,” she said. “There are children in this community that are alcohol addicted already.”

But Robin Harmston, who has three young children, welcomes the pub as a “community builder” within walking distance for many residents.

“This is the kind of establishment where people can meet other people,” she said. “It’s like a bookstore or a Starbucks.”

csmart@sltrib.com