Applebee’s owner goes back to drawing board for expansion plan
Despite council unanimously rejecting his application to extend his restaurant’s opening hours, the owner of Applebee’s in Tuscany Village understands their decision and appreciates the input they provided him.
“They were sympathetic to my point of view and at the same time, they maintained their concerns for residents,” said Chad Huff.
He wants to amend his restaurant’s food-primary liquor licence to allow him to host social functions and entertainment – which could vary from karaoke to trivia contests.
“We’re going to take their advice, go back to the residents in the Tuscany Village (and) be a little more specific on exactly what we want to do.”
Council’s main worry was that the request was too broad and it concerned a lot of neighbours.
“We’re not trying to attract huge crowds. We’re not going to be hosting loud parties or bands,” Huff said. “We just want to be able to host small cocktail parties and bring in a jazz musician once in a while. And maybe have some games like music trivia.”
Though nobody spoke out against the proposal last Monday night (Feb. 28), council received a package of letters from neighbours outlining their concerns over the potential for increased noise and rowdiness.
Tuscany Village is Saanich’s first attempt at creating a mixed-use residential/commercial property – something they hope will become the standard in Saanich.
“When you have densification of the residential component, we have to make sure we’re not introducing something that will impede the quality of life that’s accomplished in a mixed-use environment,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff.
Councillors supported Huff’s ideas – in principle – but said he needs support from residents and more specific plans detailed in his application before they will approve anything.
“This is a restaurant right in the middle of a mixed-use setting. Let’s see what the immediate neighbours would like to see added to complement what’s already going on,” Brownoff said.
Huff and council agreed there would be no reason to extend opening hours past Applebee’s current midnight closure. He also said he doesn’t want to host loud gatherings or events, but the change in licence is necessary to hold those small events he’d like to bring in.
“Seventy per cent of our business is families,” he said. “We are a neighbourhood grill and bar. We don’t want any of that to change. We’re not looking to become anything different than we already are. We just want that flexibility to attract some more of the neighbourhood.”
Huff plans to hold an afternoon tea with area residents sometime in the next month to outline his goals and gather feedback from neighbours.