The Reynoldsburg Board of Zoning and Building Appeals voted unanimously last week against a special exception use application for a bar to open in vacant space on Brice Road.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Zoning and Building Appeals voted unanimously last week against a special exception use application for a bar to open in vacant space on Brice Road.

The business, called Mamajuana, has 30 days from the BZBA's Jan. 21 meeting to appeal the decision and pitch its case before Reynoldsburg City Council.

The 4,200-square-foot space is at 1922 Brice Road, at the southeast corner of East Livingston Avenue and Brice Road, in the same retail complex where Odd Lots is located.

BZBA members said the Brice-Livingston area does not need another bar.

In addition, they said the floor plan presented to them showed an area for dancing taking up a quarter of the entire space.

Rose Oberst is a real estate representative for Dimo Kuzmanovski, who owns the Odd Lots complex. She spoke at the BZBA meeting on his behalf and on behalf of Mamajuana's management.

Oberst said the business would be an upscale establishment.

"The owner is very well aware of what upscale means and he would not have moved forward with these people if he felt there was any chance that it would not be upscale," Oberst said. "They're going to have eating available; they're not going to be a restaurant -- there will be sub sandwiches served, and chips."

"How is that upscale?" BZBA member Norm Brusk asked.

"Because there is granite countertops, upscale tiles -- it's going to be a very nice clientele it's going to an upscale bar," Oberst said.

"I'm not worried about that, I'm just worried about what we have to look at in terms of special exceptions," BZBA member and city development director Lucas Haire said. "Is it in harmony with the surrounding character of the area and the zoning district? And will it adversely affect the health, safety and morals of the area? I believe it will.

"We've had numerous public comments about trying to rid the area of liquor establishments, not bring new ones in, so I don't agree that it meets those requirements," he said. "It also doesn't comply with approved land-use plans that we have which is the Brice and Livingston plan."

The city established a Brice and Livingston task force last year to come up with a plan to improve the look of the area and the Brice and Livingston corridors.

Haire said as a part of that plan, the city is working with the city of Columbus to try to get rid of problem liquor establishments.

The west side of Brice Road across from the Odd Lots complex, is in Columbus.

"It is important for you to understand that we are trying to redevelop that area of the city," Brusk told Oberst.

Oberst maintained that the owner of the complex and Mamajuana's management would keep the establishment upscale and make it fit in with the standards of the Brice and Livingston plan.

BZBA member Pat Feeney agreed with Brusk and Haire. He said Reynoldsburg has had enough problems in the area and there is a lot of concern that another liquor establishment may not be the right kind of business for that location.

"It's a nice shopping center," Feeney said. "I don't think there should be another bar in the area. There's plenty of places for people to eat and drink in that area."

Oberst did not say whether there will be an appeal of the BZBA decision.