Westport officials approved a license to serve beer and wine this week for Camp Beef Butter BBQ, an outdoor barbecue restaurant that will feature live music on the edge of town.
Restaurant owner Patrick Riha submitted the application for a Class B and Class C retail license for his business, located at 5407 County Hwy. M, in early April. A public hearing was scheduled shortly thereafter, and included on the agenda for the town board’s May 3 meeting.
Town administrator Tom Wilson introduced the agenda item, noting that the license application required applicants to define an area in which alcoholic beverages would be sold and stored.
Wilson said in the case of an outdoor BBQ, that area would be the beer trailer and the fire pits.
Wilson further noted that the applicant had presented his proposal to the town’s plan commission, which approved of both the site plan and design review for the business.
Town chair Dean Grosskopf then called the public hearing to order, asking for public comments. No objection was raised, and the hearing was closed less than a minute later. Staff recommended that the application be approved as submitted, subject to state and local requirements.
Supervisors voted in unanimous favor of granting the license to the applicant.
Riha told board members that the target opening date for his restaurant was Friday, May 14. A band, 35 South, has already been scheduled to perform the following day.
“It’s kind of like a country-rock band,” Riha said.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, the town board:
- Passed an ordinance amending the town’s commercial building code, and its code of ordinances, so that it can be delegated commercial building review by the state. Wilson said passing the ordinance was a prerequisite, as state officials would only send the town a determination letter once it received an approved ordinance from the municipality. If the state makes a positive determination, as Wilson expects it will, the town would then be able to utilize its own engineers for the review of commercial building permits.
- Discussed the timeline for returning to in-person board meetings. Wilson noted that town officials had been vaccinated, and considering the single-digit turnout by members of the public at most meetings, gathering in-person was unlikely to present an issue if they decided to do so in June. Chair Dean Grosskopf requested that staff look into “hybrid” solutions regardless, so that the town is prepared for a situation in which more members of the public wish to attend a given meeting. The board will discuss the matter again on May 17.