UPDATED — Angelo’s won’t be opening in the former Barrier’s space at Douglas and Oliver after all, but another restaurant will pending final city approval on increased parking.
“I never was positive that we were opening there,” says Gina Fasciano-Hogan. “It was actually way premature that that was mentioned at all.”
Fasciano-Hogan had been speaking with someone who had hoped to buy the building but didn’t succeed.
“That’s how premature it was.”
She still wants to reopen her family’s popular restaurant, though.
“We still want to, yes, and would like to stay in the College Hill area,” Fasciano-Hogan says. “I’m still in the planning stages.”
She says she’s working on a business plan and should be ready to do something in about six months.
“Hopefully when the time comes, something will be available in that area.”
Another group wants part of the former Barrier’s space for a bar and restaurant. Neither the group nor its representatives are sharing details about who the restaurateurs are or what they’re planning.
According to a staff report for the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, the real estate agents for the new owners of the building — who closed on Thursday — applied for a conditional use permit to tear down a duplex near the property for parking.
They also have plans to tear down a building behind the former Barrier’s building but don’t need permission for that because it’s already zoned for neighborhood retail.
The duplex is behind Citizens Bank of Kansas and is zoned for multifamily residential use.
The planning commission unanimously approved the permit with some modifications. This followed numerous public speakers who voiced concerns over the plan along with support for it.
A couple of speakers said they didn’t think the building, which has been vacant for more than two years, can ever attract another business without more parking.
“This building is an eyesore,” resident Trae Staats said. “Frankly, guys, something’s gotta give.”
Several residents said they feared for safety of school children and others due to increased traffic the extra parking would create along Glendale Avenue.
The restaurant’s hours — 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends — are another issue, they say.
Longtime Crown Heights resident Bill Ryan spoke first and was the longest speaker.
In separate comments to The Eagle, Ryan explained why he’s worried about a possible bar and restaurant.
“I’ve never protested anything,” he says. “Usually, I assume the city … or planning department, they have experts and figure out things and do what’s best. … I trust them that they’re making good decisions.”
Ryan feels in this case, that isn’t true.
“This is personal. They’re raping our neighborhood.”
Ryan says there are plenty of places near Kellogg and Oliver or at Oliver and Central where new businesses could go.
“But they’re picking a quiet neighborhood here.”
He says he doesn’t want bright lights or a late-night business or more pedestrians walking to and from a business. He says parking has been sufficient at the space for decades.
Ryan says his family has lived in the same house in the neighborhood since 1948, and he’s tired of what he calls encroachment of commercial uses on residential space.
“This was … the last straw.”
After a two-week period to allow for protests, the issue goes to City Council for final approval.