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Vinewood Kitchen pulls bistro application

By Kevin Elliott

Birmingham City Commissioners will review two new bistro submissions in July, as applicants behind the proposed Vinewood Kitchen and Cocktails, 720 N. Old Woodward, withdrew their submission to the city this month.

City commissioners were scheduled Monday, June 14, to review Vinewood’s site plan and designs, as well as its special land use permit request. A public hearing was also scheduled and held at the commission meeting, despite the application being withdrawn.

Birmingham Planning Director Jana Ecker said the applicants would have to resubmit as a new project and restart the process if they wish to pitch the concept at another date.

Designed by Birmingham-based architects Ron and Roman, the proposal included a semi-outdoor wintergarden, as well as outdoor seating in the rear of the restaurant, adjacent to the Rouge River. The concept was well received by some city commissioners last year, as Vinewood was one five bistro applications moved forward to the planning board. However, planning board members subsequently rejected the proposed bistro in April, recommending city commissioners vote against approving the bistro.

Among the issues noted by planning board members was the proximity to the river and potential conflict with neighbors regarding noise, concerns about the floor plan and the garbage dumpster configuration. Several nearby residents also voiced their concern that the restaurant would be a nuisance to the adjacent neighborhood.

Planning board members also took issue with activating the rear alley of a building under the bistro ordinance, which is intended by ordinance to activate street activity in the front of buildings.

Two additional bistro applications – Bloom Bistro, 239 N. Old Woodward, and Sushi Japan, 176 N. Old Woodward – were scheduled on June 14 for review by the commission on Monday, July 12.


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