Neighborhood meeting goes well for proposed tavern

       City planner Sue Matz said at a neighborhood meeting April 25 that she would recommend in favor of a a restaurant license for the proposed Metropolis Terrace Tavern at 1201 W. Colorado Ave.
       The original application had not sought a restaurant permit, but property/ business owner Jeff Chevalier - indicating that the lunch-time food trade “will be our big thing” - said he was happy with the idea.
       Matz' recommendation will go to the Colorado Springs Planning Commission when it meets Thursday, May 3. The variances previously sought had been for a setback and parking related to a “liquor establishment.”
       Her statement had the effect of clearing the air at the neighborhood meeting. Although no one had previously expressed outright opposition, and several spoke in favor, there had been considerable discussion about the extent of the business' plans for prepared food.
       Chevalier and associate Don Wagner also emphasized that serving liquor was only part of the operation. They described Metropolis as a gathering place, chiefly for people 35 and older, and that they hoped to attract different groups and activities but not be open past midnight and not bring in loud bands. For example, with the recent popularity of ballroom dancing, that might become one activity, Wagner said.
       Chevalier, who has owned the 1201 building since 2000 (and the neighboring laundromat since '95), also noted that he had personally gone out and talked to numerous nearby neighbors. Most of them told him they were in favor, he said.
       The reason the original request had not been for a restaurant license was because of uncertainty about whether the existing kitchen qualified - it having a stove but no hood (needed for deep-frying), Wagner explained.
       The meeting included four members of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), a city-recognized advocacy group. Three of the four (Dave Hughes, Sean Chambers and Dick Strauch) said toward the end of the meeting that they were in favor, based on what they'd heard.
       The OWN board plans to discuss the matter at its monthly meeting Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at the West Intergenerational Center, 25 N. 20th St.
       Holly Sweet, a nearby resident who said she has been a Westsider since age 3, said she was hopeful the business would work out as explained, but remained concerned about the liquor aspects. “This area has a lot of career homeless people,” she said. “They don't need a new beachhead.”
       She was also worried about noise and traffic issues. The building has been most recently used for auctions, and she mentioned problems with cars blocking the alley and sound echoing from inside the building.

Westside Pioneer article