Roots/Bleeding Heart: EVA issues

Scott Rappe, co-chair of EVA's Planning, Preservation & Development committee, outlined EVA concerns with the Roots/Bleeding Heart Bakery restaurant plan in a Nov. 9 letter to its developers. Scott Weiner and Greg Mohr of The Fifty/50 met Nov. 8 with the EVA board. Read Weiner & Mohr's reply.

Thank you for attending the EVA board meeting, presenting your plans and answering the board’s questions. The East Village Association is interested in seeing Chicago Avenue flourish and supports responsible businesses that are compatible with the surrounding residential neighborhood.

The proposed restaurant and bakery include positive aspects, but the prominent presence of the restaurant/bar on an otherwise quiet residential side street also presents some serious concerns. In particular, objections were raised regarding the emphasis on outdoor seating and openings from the bar to the street, the placement of a pick-up window that may invite double parking and the logistical challenges to deliveries, trash pick-up and patron parking presented by the narrow alley.

It is our understanding that you are seeking support from the East Village Association for the following:

  1. A zoning change to convert the north portion of 1916 W. Chicago Ave. from RT-4 to B3-2.

  2. A zoning 'Special Use' to allow a rooftop deck on 1916 W. Chicago Ave. for the exclusive use of Bleeding Heart Bakery.

In order for our general membership to vote on these issues, you will need to submit an article for publication in the East Village News, and then make a presentation to the general membership at our monthly meeting. We have scheduled your presentation for our Jan. 3 meeting at the Happy Village Tavern at 7 p.m.. When writing the article, make certain to specifically address what you are requesting support for. Please email the article to our newsletter editor no later than Nov. 20.

After making your presentation, the Planning, Preservation & Development committee will present its recommendation to the general membership, and make a formal motion for a vote. In advance of the PPD committee forming its recommendation, the East Village Association board recommends that you modify your plans as follows:

  • Eliminate the pickup window facing Winchester Street.

  • Provide trash receptacle storage for the restaurant & bakery within the building so that it does not obstruct the alley.

  • Add a stairwell at the front of Bleeding Heart to facilitate Chicago Avenue deliveries.

The East Village Association board further recommends that you agree to execute a restrictive covenant recorded on the deed of the property that:

  • Limits the extent of the outdoor café on Winchester Street to no further than 60' north of the Chicago Avenue property line.

  • Prohibits sound amplification in the outdoor cafe.

  • Requires closure of the outdoor café, all windows opening into the bar and the rooftop deck by 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

  • Requires consultation with the East Village Association every year, prior to submitting application for sidewalk café. Consultation shall mean the meaningful participation of at least one controlling owner of the business, at one of the following: an EVA board meeting, an EVA general membership meeting, or a meeting with the alderman.

  • Commit to training & holding accountable your outgoing and incoming delivery drivers to not double park, not block the alley, and to find legal parking or utilize the front loading zone.

Please seriously consider these suggestions as they would likely lead to a positive recommendation from the PPD committee.
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