Reynoldsburg City Council's service committee discussed special exception use permits Monday, April 1, for two new proposed restaurants on Brice Road, but told both applicants the permits would likely not be approved if they intended to serve liquor.
Alethia Harris is seeking a special exception use permit for Raphael's Soul Food Kitchen at 1780 Brice Road.
Justin Robbins, from the architectural firm OHM, spoke as acting planning administrator for the Reynoldsburg Board of Zoning and Building Appeals. He said BZBA members thought the business plan for the restaurant "was reasonable."
"We are not recommending approval, though, if alcohol is consumed on the premises," he said.
"We are trying to have a one-of-a-kind establishment," said Tina Harris, speaking for the applicant.
She said the business would include a retail/gift store where alcohol could be sold, but the restaurant side would be "family-oriented" and would not resemble a bar.
"I think it will be a great atmosphere with something for everyone," Harris said. "We originally did want to have a cafe that could serve liquor, though."
Councilman Mel Clemens, chairman of the service committee, told Harris she chose a location where Reynoldsburg City Council believes "liquor consumption should be controlled" but that selling liquor in the retail/gift store could be permitted.
"We would be opposed to you having consumption of liquor on the premises," he said.
Harris said the restaurant would not keep "bar hours."
"We are hoping to have an atmosphere where you could bring children," she said.
She said the cafe would be open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and would close at 11 p.m. on weekends.
The service committee agreed to send the special exception use permit to the full council for a first reading Monday, April 8.
The committee also discussed a special exception use permit for A La Toby's Pizzeria at 1361 Brice Road.
Applicant Alford Mathes Jr. said not serving alcohol at his business "would not be a problem."
"There is a bar very close if people want to go over there," he said.
Clemens said the permit for the pizzeria would be sent to the full council for a first reading April 8, with the restriction that there would be no alcohol consumption on the premises.
In other service committee business, Clemens said he and Mayor Brad McCloud had discussed the possibility of installing a bulletproof glass window at the water department billing office and the auditor's office at City Hall.
"This is a very open area and I think it is a safety issue, since there are a lot of money transactions going on," Clemens said.
He said there is a similar glass window at the clerk of court's office.
The installation could cost a total of $11,230, which Clemens said could be budgeted from existing city accounts.
The committee agreed to send the proposal to the full council as an ordinance for a first reading April 8.
That meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 7232 E. Main St.