Plans are off the table for two food-service providers with intentions to open in German Village.

Plans are off the table for two food-service providers with intentions to open in German Village.

The Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment voted 3-2 Oct. 25 against several variances requested by Rockmill Brewery owner Matt Barbee who wanted to take over the former Juergens German Bakery & Restaurant at 525 S. Fourth St. and open Rockmill Tavern.

The BZA might have dealt the final, fatal blow to the Rockmill plan, which has been in the works for about a year.

Attorney Jeffrey L. Brown, representing Barbee, said the project is in limbo at the moment.

"We're evaluating our options right now," Brown said.

Last week, Barbee opened a Rockmill Tavern in the Brewery District.

Meanwhile, Tupelo Doughnuts has scrapped plans to open its first brick-and-mortar location at 190 E. Whittier St.

Founder Kimberly Payne said she decided not to renew the lease at the space, opting instead to open in Clintonville.

Payne said she would have had to equip the German Village storefront with a full kitchen, a costly move.

Also, it didn't have the visibility as the Clintonville store, which will take over Wang's Teriyaki at 4330 N. High St. It is expected to open by Feb. 1.

"We'd like to look back at German Village as our next location," Payne said.

Doughnut production has been temporarily halted while the kitchen is updated at Tupelo's current kitchen facility on Billingsley Road. Payne said her food truck should be ready to roll back out for pop-up events and catering services by December.

The Rockmill rejection has deeper implications for the historic neighborhood, which has struggled with the lack of on-street parking.

Restaurant customers and residents vie for spaces, because driveways and parking lots are at a premium in the community. Rockmill's plan, which included a large outdoor patio in the rear of the site, fueled residents' anxieties over more spots lost to commerce.

Barbee had adjusted his proposal several times, scaling down the size of the patio and eliminating on-site brewing capacity and ultimately drafting a good-neighbor agreement.

But the proposal was never fully embraced by most neighbors, who also complained about noise and aesthetics.

German Village is also faced with future parking-capacity issues.

Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant, 240 E. Kossuth St., has announced plans to build a rooftop patio, something that would require a parking variance.

Fox in the Snow Cafe, a coffee house and bakery, is opening in 2,400 square feet at 201 Thurman Ave. It is part of a new mixed-use project that will include other retail stores.

Some have defended the opening of new restaurants as a good sign for a pedestrian-friendly community that wants to support its own business, while others have steadfastly rejected the idea, citing new high-impact uses simply push the parking issues to other areas in the neighborhood.

Rosemarie Keidel, who opened Juergens 47 years ago, said she's disappointed by the BZA vote and neighbors' constant criticisms of Rockmill.

"It's sad actually because such a wonderful thing would be so fitting here," she said, adding she hopes Barbee returns with something residents and the city find more suitable.

She said she has been approached by other restaurateurs, who have proposed intense uses for the shop, but wouldn't need a signoff by the city to move in.

"People need to be careful what they're wishing for," she said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary