On Tuesday, November 16, owners of Bluefoot Bar & Lounge in North Park, Cuong Nguyen and Adam Cook, and dozens of supporters appeared before the North Park Planning Committee looking to amend their Neighborhood Use Permit. Nguyen and Cook sought to extend their hours until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, extend café sidewalk hours from ten until midnight on those same nights, and make the Neighborhood Use Permit permanent — the owners are required to renew their permit every two years.
Tensions between nearby residents and bar owners and patrons have been brewing for years. Neighbors have complained about excessive noise coming from the bar and the sidewalk café where patrons sit outside to eat, drink, and smoke. The residents also object to the litter left behind in their neighborhood and the noise from patrons as they walk through the neighborhood to their cars.
In the days leading up to the meeting, nearly 150 residents of North park signed a petition to deny the amendments. The petition requested that instead of adding hours, the planning committee should recommend that the bar close at midnight, including Fridays and Saturdays.
"Bluefoot's owners responded by offering complimentary goodies at the bar for those who went to the meeting and showed their support," said one North Park resident after the meeting.
In the end, after all of the public comment and committee discussion, the North Park Planning Committee recommended denying the extended hours request but extending their Neighborhood Use Permit to a five-year renewal, as opposed to the current two-year requirement.
"The owners aren't cool enough to hire security and keep people quiet, so they will just continue to drive the neighbors nuts," said one resident. "Why should we enable them to keep on dumping on our neighborhood?"
Judging by the comments and amendments requested by Nguyen and Cook, the issue is not closed. The city's planning commission will deliberate on the amendments and the recommendations from the committee at a future hearing.
In the meantime, beer and spirits will continue to flow at the Bluefoot, while nearby residents await the bar's last call.