The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission said yes to a change in use request that will transform Boggs Hardware into a New Orleans-themed restaurant with a performance stage.
The applicant, Paul Brown, requested to change the use of the building at 734 Lincoln Ave. from retail to nightclub. The main hurdle was providing more parking than what the city required for the hardware store.
The proposed restaurant, The Round Room, would replace the last hardware store in Steamboat's downtown, which went out of business several months ago.
The Planning Commission's discussion Thursday focused on the parking requirement proposed for a nightclub use. The city requires four more parking spaces than the eight spaces Boggs Hardware used.
The applicant asked for a one-parking space credit for having a bike rack in front of the building along Lincoln Avenue. Brown also proposed providing the three other parking spaces by working out an agreement that would use parking spaces from the BAP, Paddler and Orange Peel building, whose lot is in the alley, diagonally behind the restaurant.
The Planning Commission agreed to the proposal.
Brown has plans for the restaurant to have an authentic Cajun and Creole menu. He also has plans to hold everything from family magic night to plays and live bands. He told the Planning Commission that he believes the restaurant will spark more traffic downtown.
Planning Commissioner Tracy Barnett, who owns Mazzola's restaurant, agreed. "I really feel that an entertainment venue is a good thing for downtown," Barnett said. "We are all hurting to some degree and the last thing we need is another restaurant downtown, but I think we will all benefit from (this restaurant)."
The application next goes before the City Council. Brown said he would like to open the Round Room by Thanksgiving.
Brown will lease the 5,700-square-foot area from owner Doug Boggs. Brown told the Planning Commission he has no plans to change the facade of the historical red brick building. The inside will have rustic, modern architecture with a New Orleans flair.
In other business:
n The Planning Commission approved conditional use for the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation to have a miniature golf course, zip line, challenge course, bungee trampoline, climbing wall, flight simulator and other activities in Gondola Square and under the Preview, Headwall and South Face lifts.
n The Planning Commission gave mostly positive feedback for the Eagle Crest at Steamboat Springs project, which proposes three four-unit townhomes along Eagle Ridge Drive. The pre-application had three variances that planning commissioners did not object to, but some Planning Commission members did request improvements to the architecture.
n The Planning Commission approved the preliminary plat for Kum & Go Plaza, which subdivided the existing parcel into two lots.
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