Whether to support the opening of a Magazine Street restaurant that improperly added an upstairs space will be decided tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 1) by the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association as the deadline nears for a City Council decision on the issue.
Johnny V’s received permission to open next to Monkey Hill bar on Magazine Street more than two years ago, but an upstairs space not envisioned in the original permits was added during construction. The restaurant could conceivably open under its current conditional use if it removed those additions, but its owners are asking for permission to move forward without tearing out the extra space in exchange for more concessions to the neighbors.
The Audubon-Riverside association voted in September not to oppose the restaurant’s plans in exchange for a number of new conditions: that Johnny V’s owners sign a legally-binding good-neighbor agreement to seal off the additional upstairs space to prevent its use, and that the restaurant secure a lease with the Perlis family for use of their parking lot after hours, among others. Those efforts are still pending, but Johnny V’s attorney Justin Schmidt said Tuesday morning that he hopes to have a final version of the good-neighbor agreement ready for the association today.
The City Council is slated to make its decision on the restaurant Thursday, so ARNA’s stance as decided tonight will determine the association presents for the record. The issue split the City Planning Commission in September between four members who would allow the restaurant to move forward, and three who said after-the-fact permission for the additions should not be granted.