Sign In or Register here

Del Ray beer garden opponents: Think of the children!

Posted on Mar 09,2018
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,

A rendering of the Secret Garten, a beer garden and restaurant that aims to open in on Mount Vernon Avenue.

By Rebecca Cooper  

Residents of a town house development next to a proposed beer garden in Del Ray are opposing the business, saying it will create “noise and safety issues” and “negatively affect our community.”

The owner of the Señor Chicken restaurant at 3410 Mount Vernon Ave. has proposed changing the business to The Secret Garten, a bar and restaurant with an outdoor beer garden in the parking lot behind the restaurant. The Alexandria Planning Commission is expected to take up the matter Tuesday.

The owner, Abe Hadjiesmaeiloo, originally proposed seating for 40 outside and operating until 2 a.m. Hadjiesmaeiloo since reduced the proposed number of seats to 30, and is requesting that the beer garden be open until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Planning Commission staff has recommended approval of the special use permit for the beer garden as amended. The Secret Garten would serve mostly imported beers from Belgium and offer German fare including sausages, as well as other items including wings and grilled cheese sandwiches.  

Residents of the Mount Vernon Court Community Association, the homeowners association for a group of 30 town houses along Sandborn Place, are taking issue with the plan, however.

“We have 22 children in our community — most under the age of five years of age. Many go to bed between 7-9 p.m.,” Al Havinga, president of the Mount Vernon Court Community Association, wrote in a letter to the Planning Commission. “The noise and disruption coming from 30 people from an outdoor beer garden until 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) is significant and would affect the health and welfare of our community.”

Havinga's letter was one of about 10 filed with the city in opposition to the beer garden.

The association also raised concerns about adding additional traffic to an already crowded intersection. The Mount Vernon Court town houses face the rear of the shopping center, which also includes a laundromat, a 7-Eleven and a Latino grocery store and carryout. The homes also face the rear of a Popeye’s fast food restaurant.

Planning staff note that “the location of outdoor dining in the rear would activate a portion of the rear parking lot which has been otherwise unused and has been reported to attract loitering and outdoor alcohol consumption due to its remote characteristics.” The staff report also notes that the distance between the outdoor dining area and the nearest dwellings is 89 feet, which is more than the average in Alexandria of 72 feet. It also notes the owner has agreed to plant additional trees behind the beer garden area to screen it from residents’ view.

Source bizjournals

Loading Loading..

Shopping and Services Guide

Exclusive deals from the best locals!

Browse our highlighted partners
Spas, retailers, restaurants and…
so much more.