Latest O’Brien-BOMA saga: tavern size increase allows kitchen

Dr. Patrick O’Brien, franchise co-owner of The Casual Pint Farragut, now will have room to build a kitchen in the tavern.

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously in favor of changing the maximum size of a tavern from 3,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet.

In January, O’Brien asked that the Town change the text of its ordinance regulating the maximum size of a tavern. He said he had an opportunity to expand his facility and planned to install a food prep area. However, he still would like the Town to reconsider allowing food trucks in Town.

The ordinance previously stated that taverns such as O’Brien’s, 143 Brooklawn St. in Kroger Marketplace, could not be more than 3,000 square feet.

Aldermen Ron Williams and Louise Povlin expressed some misgivings, but the Board voted 4-1 to change the maximum size from 3,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet in the first reading. Williams voted against the motion on first reading.

On the second reading Feb. 9, however, Williams voted in favor of changing the maximum size.

The Board also updated its ordinance, changing the percentage of beer weight from 5 percent to 8 percent, as required by the state.

Following Alderman Bob Markli’s motion during the Feb. 9 meeting to approve the changes, Povlin said she still was concerned that taverns should be required to include food items other than pretzels and popcorn.

“You guys know I have had concerns about just saying food and not tying a percentage of food sales to it,” Povlin said.

“I think when you start requiring the business to have to sell something or do something, I think we’re overgoverning,” Alderman Ron Pinchok said.

While Pinchok said he does understand the tavern needs to sell food, the Town should not put a percentage on it.

Pinchok, however, did ask if O’Brien’s food prep area plans would comply with the Town codes. David Smoak, Town administrator, said it did.

In other business, the Board voted unanimously to:

• appoint Samuel French to its Economic Development Committee and appoint Michael Wilson to its Board of Zoning Appeals.

• approve a communications equipment license agreement between the Town and Zayo Group, which asked for the license so Zayo Group could erect three small cell phone systems along Parkside Drive. As requested by the Town, the firm will place the system underground except for the antennae.

• approve changes to its parking ordinance so companies can have fewer parking spaces than the Town currently requires.