The Village of Waunakee approved one of its first applications for a temporary premise change Monday since adopting a resolution to amend the ordinance in early July. It allows the Lone Girl Brewing restaurant and brewery to expand its outdoor seating area and amends the area where it may serve alcohol.
At the board’s July 20 meeting, Lone Girl’s owner, Kevin Abercrombie, told the members he has tried to find new ideas to ensure revenue flow during this pandemic time, when indoor seating and social distancing regulations are in place to prevent the spread.
He proposed using outdoor areas south and east of the building to expand the seating.
A tent is now up with picnic tables to create an event space. Many weddings and corporate events scheduled at the Lone Girl were canceled, Abercrombie said, and this provides an area to serve people for downsized weddings and rehearsal dinners.
According to a memo provided to the board, new seating would be allowed in the following locations: sidewalk south of Lone Girl, leading to parking lot in rear of Village Crossing, seating 10; grass area adjacent to sidewalk listed above, seating 16; 2 parking stalls east of Lone Girl (separate from the rest of the parking lot), seating for 24; driveway, located on west end of Village Crossing, no customer seating; sidewalk south of Ecco Salon & Red Barn, leading to fenced-in patio customer seating; fenced-in, concrete patio, south of original Koltes Lumber building, seating for 64.
Sidewalks will be used for delivering food, and the driveway for those picking up packaged beer and food.
The application also requests that music be allowed, and that service continue until 10 p.m., as on the rooftop area. It also requests that temporary lighting be allowed.
The ordinance allowing temporary premise amendments required businesses to close those outdoor areas at dusk. The ordinance was intended to be in effect through Sept. 7.
Trustee Phil Willems said he believed the request was “very doable,” and he suggested that the timeline for allowing the use of outdoor areas be extended through October.
Clerk Caitlin Stene told the board that the ordinance was to extend through the end of the village’s emergency order. If the emergency order is extended, this ordinance could be as well.
The resolution changed the ordinance to allow shops to expand outdoor areas with administrative approval; changes to premises where alcohol is served must come before the village board.
Trustee Nila Frye suggested that neighbors be consulted about the lighting and music. She also said she was concerned about controlling the crowds and asked that people be seated.
Abercrombie said no live music was planned, only amplified music through a speaker. As for lighting, he described Christmas type lights. And he said, by the county health department’s regulations, he is not allowed to serve people unless they are seated.
Board members generally supported the application. Trustee Gary Herzberg said Abercrombie has been a “good corporate citizen.”
Trustee Kristin Runge said she has been “rethinking the dusk regulation” in the board’s ordinance allowing temporary premise changes.
“I personally don’t go out to eat until 7 p.m.,” she said.
Village President Chris Zellner said he had concerns about pedestrians using the drive-through. And he said he would hope the music would not impact other businesses within the Village Crossing development.
Abercrombie said the Lone Girl has crafted its own stop sign and has an employee directing traffic.
“It’s my goal to have somebody out there that’s stationed and ready to sell six-packs,” he said, adding that person could also control traffic.
Zellner suggested a lit stop sign could suffice.
The motion to approve the amended premise for Lone Girl was approved unanimously with conditions. First, it must be reviewed by the fire inspector and the village. Neighboring businesses must also be notified.
During the public comment section of the meeting. Victor Villacrez of Hovde Properties, the Village Crossing developer, said he supported the expanded seating capacity outdoors.
Attorney Bryan Kleinmaier told the board they may want to revisit the resolution allowing the temporary outdoor premise changes to maintain consistency.
“If we’re going to be approving certain things tonight that are arguably inconsistent with the resolution, I think that we need to bring that resolution back and take those bullet points out of the resolution,” Kleinmaier said, adding the board needs to treat similar businesses the same way.
He noted that as the resolution is stated, certain things approved for Lone Girl appear to be prohibited in the resolution, including lighting and amplified sound, and the hours of operation.
To learn more about the Lone Girl, visit the website, https://www.restaurantji.com/wi/waunakee/the-lone-girl-brewing-company-/