As the Cape Ann Brewing Company tries to solidify adding an awning and outdoor bar to its home on Rogers Street with the City Council, some residents say councilors shouldn’t grant the brew-pub anything until it meets its original permit standards.
The Rogers Street brew-pub’s owner, Jeremy Goldberg, has an awning system and a roof for an outdoor bar up for an amendment to the pub’s special permit with the council.
He put the awning up over the pub’s deck seating last year, figuring it was temporary enough not to effect the permit. It has sides to it that can turn the outdoor seating on the deck into a three season room. The awning and outdoor bar will make better use of the deck and work well with the city’s new Harborwalk, he said.
But in April, Building Inspector Bill Sanborn said the sided awning required modifying the company’s special permit, though the bar, he said, isn’t a “permanent structure” and doesn’t need council approval. Goldberg went before the council for an after-the-fact sign-off in April.
The review, said City Councilor Bruce Tobey, brought up a gamut of issues from bathroom sinage to the company’s commitment to and amout of, space for marine industrial use on site. Four months after Goldberg applied for the modification, the council is still chewing on it, and will resume its public hearing on it in September.
The pub’s deck sits just above the walkway, looking out over the inner harbor. The orange-red awning’s been up since after last Fiesta, Goldberg said. It covers around 10 tables worth of seating on the deck, and can be sealed off from the elements.
The outdoor bar has been there since June. It’s a temporary structure and doesn’t need any more than a licensing board sign-off, which it has.
The brew-pub’s awning and outdoor bar additions tie in well with the harborwalk, Goldberg said. He added that the additions allow for better viewing of the harbor.
Cape Ann Brewing moved into the former home of Doyon’s appliance on Rogers Street two years ago. Goldberg took one of the first shots at building in the then-newly relaxed Designated Port Area regulations. That makes it a representative for changing uses on the waterfront, said Tobey, whether the company likes it or not.
Goldberg’s brewing company has been in the limelight since its Fort debut.
Neighbors on Beach Court fought the company’s attempt to have a “brew-pub” on site after it opened in 2008. The company left its old home on Commercial Street and moved to the old Doyon’s site, which it still leases from the appliance company on Whistlestop way. The council granted a special permit for the site in June of 2010.
Regarding the permit modification, Tobey said the council’s treading with great care regarding how the company’s met port area (DPA) conditions. Half of the site, according to city regulations has to be water dependant, marine industrial use.
“(Cape Ann Brewing) has become a poster child for change of use on the waterfront,” said Tobey, “it has to be done right.”
When the state approved Cape Ann Brewing’s license to operate, it tacked 11 conditions onto it. Those included a marketing plan for water dependent use of parts of the site, marked public restrooms, and a $22,000 contribution, over two years, to a city harbor upkeep fund, among others.
Tobey said, over the next two months, the council will be checking to see of the brew-pub has addressed those conditions.
Sunny Robinson, of Citizens for Gloucester Harbor says the pub hasn’t met many of the state’s 11 conditions in two years at the site.
“They’ve simply thumbed their nose at the requirements for two years,” Robinson said, “Before they’re given any expansion of the permit, I believe they ought to be held accountable for the requirements and demonstrate that they are meeting all their requirements.”
The council, she said, has to make sure the company’s providing the required amount of square footage, 5,000 square feet, for marine industrial use on site, along with parking for it. The mixed-use DPA issues, she said, are first and foremost. Above things like complying with the restroom sinage and making sure it’s dumpsters are screened in.
Goldberg says he’s working on it.
“(The council) wants to make sure we have all the issues (addressed) they’ve asked us to take care of,” Goldberg said.
He said the company has around five years to meet all the conditions and is working toward them at the moment. Including working on a marketing plan to store more lobster traps on site. Last winter, he said, the brew-pub kept 200 traps of local lobstermen on its property. Last year, the pub employed just over 30 people Goldberg said, in the summer it employed just over 40.
“At the end of the day, I think what we’re doing here is of great benefit to the city and to the waterfront,” Goldberg said.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.