River Oaks eatery Corner Table must close off 3,308 square feet of space in 30 days or else face fines and possible loss of its occupancy permit.
The restaurant, located at 2736 Virginia St., has been operating in violation of the city's parking code for years and has been a continual thorn in the side of the neighborhood residents, who said residential streets had been clogged with the parked cars of Corner Table clientele.
The city's Planning Commission voted 9-6 to deny owner Darla Lexington's second variance request June 12. Lexington, with the help of architect and planner Craig Garcia of Gage Design, had failed in their attempt to obtain approval for off-site parking at a lot 600 feet from the restaurant. (The restaurant in located in the same space as other Lexington-owned businesses, including The Oak Bar and Nightclub and 1919 Wine & Mixology.)
Garcia argued to Commission members that closing 3,308 square feet would "jeopardize the viability of the restaurant."
But Corner Table General Manager Bob Myers seemed less dramatic, telling Hair Balls in an email that "We respect the city's decision and are working to move in the right direction."
Neighborhood resident Gary Ruby, the restaurant's most vocal critic, claimed in an email that "During the variance the process, the Corner Table was not successful in being courteous to the neighbors or to enforce their employees to park in the designated area."
Another neighborhood resident, Ryan Morris, told city officials in an email that "it remains to be seen that after the [Corner Table] reduces their space whether they will still try to operate three bars and a night club from the remaining space...."
Morris stated that residents will be monitoring the site to see if the operators are still "trying to serve over 300 customers on the weekend" and "creating traffic jams and safety issues with speeding valets."
We're sure the residents will let us know if things don't get better, and we'll keep you posted.