After years of successfully doing business at their current location with only nine parking spaces, Anand and Doris Saha will try to make a go of it at the new Mozart's restaurant with 49 spaces.
Clintonville Area Commission members voted unanimously last week to approve a variance reducing the required number of parking spaces at the proposed restaurant in the former Cord Camera building, 4784 N. High St., from 111 to 49, with 20 additional spaces available on an adjoining lot.
The city's Board of Zoning Adjustment currently is scheduled to make a final ruling on the variance request at its April 23 meeting, said CAC zoning and variance committee Chairwoman Dana K.G. Bagwell, although there is a possibility it will be expedited and appear on the board's March 26 agenda.
At the zoning and variance committee meeting during which the request was considered, Bagwell said four residents were on hand to express concerns about overflow parking in their neighborhood from the new Mozart's. Saha was on hand and calmed their fears, Bagwell said, while she helped familiarize the residents with the process for obtaining permit-only parking designation for their street.
When Chairman Daniel J. Miller opened the floor for people to speak for or against the proposal, silence reigned.
"Anand's commitment to the community has been outstanding so far," Miller said. "I wish you the best of luck."
He added he was pleased to see the historic structure being preserved and reused.
What eventually became the Cord Camera building, but which has had many different uses over the years, was constructed in 1930.
Saha announced his plans in October to buy the 11,000-square-foot structure for $635,000.
Initially, he said his plan was to consolidate the 17-year-old Mozart's Bakery and Piano Cafe and the newer Vienna Ice Cafe into the Cord Camera structure, but more recently Saha indicated he may keep the south Clintonville venues in operation along with the new one.
Prior to the vote being taken, District 9 representative D Searcy said other restaurants in the vicinity of the proposed new one are getting by with even fewer spaces than the 49 Saha will have on-site and the 20 next door.
"For Clintonville, this is a great number of parking spaces," Bagwell said.
"I think it's the time to do this," said commission member Kristopher Keller, in whose District 8 the new Mozart's will be located. "Other restaurants in the area doing comparable business are getting by with 20 (parking spaces) or less."
Voters in the currently dry ward that includes 4784 N. High St. will be asked in the May 7 primary to approve a liquor license for the new establishment.