Liquor-control commissioners on Tuesday refused to allow a Foothill restaurant under construction to serve all types of alcohol.
The decision came after about two dozen opponents asked that the BrewHaHa Bar & Grill be forbidden from serving booze because of parking, traffic, safety and noise concerns.
Bryce Jones, owner of the establishment at 2108 E. 1300 South, earlier asked the Salt Lake Planning Commission to allow him to open a beer pub, but also was turned down.
Jones then appealed to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for a full-service restaurant permit to serve alcohol at the establishment, previously named BrewHaHa Tavern.
He told commissioners that he would apply at their next meeting Sept. 24. for a limited license to serve beer and wine.
The commission rejected Jones' application for a full-service license by a 5-to-2 vote. Commissioners Connie White and Olivia Vela Agraz supported the application.
White said the city already has allowed Jones to open a restaurant. And Agraz said if residents don't like buying permits so they can park in front of their homes because of increased traffic, perhaps the city could give them to neighbors for free. She also suggested that meter officers ticket vehicles in the area.
But commissioner Dennis Nordfelt, a former police chief, said there's no doubt that limited parking at Jones' establishment will lead to increased traffic congestion and safety problems for neighbors and their children.
"To say there will not be a traffic problem or parking problem is unthinkable," he said. "That kind of business will spill over into the residential neighborhood."
Jones said his property has 17 parking spaces and there are about 100 public parking spaces near the restaurant on 1300 South and 2100 East.
But Ross Fulton with the Bonneville Hills Community Council said alcohol at the restaurant will bring increased traffic to the neighborhood. He said more traffic will pose risks for children attending three schools in the area, patrons at a nearby library and people with disabilities living in a neighborhood home.
Jones discounted opponents' concerns, saying neighbors don't want alcohol in the area.
"This is a personal vendetta against me," he said. "They didn't want a bar so they organized and now have made me the personification of their opposition. They have no merit to oppose a restaurant here, it's a completely permitted use."
Jones also said the city's Planning Commission was outside its authority when members rejected his bid to open a pub, saying the unanimous vote was "a temper tantrum."
Planning commissioners were legally required to approve Jones' request for a permit if they could impose reasonable conditions to mitigate adverse effects of the tavern. They decided that they would be unable to control noise late at night, the hours of operation and the impact of customers parking on residential streets.
BrewHaHa Bar& Grill
Location • 2108 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City
No to tavern • Owners asked to open a pub but Salt Lake Planning Commission said no.
No to liquor permit • Liquor board rejected a full-service permit to serve all kinds of alcohol.
What's next • Owners may apply Sept. 24 to the board for permit to serve only beer and wine.
Opening • Owners say the restaurant could open by mid-September.