In Brief: City Commission Gives Green Light to Rail District Brewery
In front of a packed house and despite several complaints from residents, the City Commission approved plans for the Griffin Claw Brewing Company on Eton Street.
Monday was a long and busy night for the Birmingham City Commission, but after three hours of discussion, presentations and public comments, commissioners approved the final site plans and special land use permit for the Griffin Claw Brewing Company for 563 and 575 Eton St.
The restaurant will be owned and operated by Norman LaPage, who currently owns Birmingham's Big Rock Chop House and The Reserve, both of which are located down the street from the proposed lot next to the Whistle Stop Restaurant.
The lot is currently empty except for a small building on the north corner, which will be torn down to make way for the nearly 12,000 square-foot brewery, restaurant and beer garden. There will be a parking lot in the back of the restaurant with more than 95 spaces, with an entrance off the nearby Palmer Street.
Despite receiving unanimous support from the Planning Board both times the project came before that body, the project still ran up against strong opposition in the neighboring residential community. Planning director Jana Ecker said the city received four letters in opposition to the plan before Monday night's meeting, as well as a petition against it with 39 signatures.
Many of those in opposition came out to speak Monday, with many residents concerned with a potential increase in noise, excessive light invading the surrounding neighborhoods, late hours and the potential for more traffic.
However, Ecker noted the city received 11 letters in support of the plan, and several residents and members of the Birmingham business community urged the commission to approve the plan.
"The property now is empty and an eyesore," said Frank Carnovale, of Carnovale Associates Incorporated. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the city of Birmingham."
Stay tuned to Patch for more on the Griffin Claw Brewing Company coming to Birmingham.