Ziggy's In Montrose Might Close Over Parking Dispute

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Ziggy's Bar and Grill, the yellow restaurant in Montrose, is the latest business fighting with the city about parking, a problem usually reserved for all the new places popping up on Washington Avenue.

Last week, Ziggy's owner met with city council, according to the restaurant's Twitter page, to "discuss the city's goal for mixed use, walkable neighborhoods. Parking ordinance needs work."

The ordinance states that a restaurant must have at least eight parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of seating space, and bars are required to have ten spaces for the same amount of space.

Hair Balls has tried to contact Ziggy's owner, Kevin Strickland, since last week to find out what was discussed with the city, or what he plans to do about parking. We haven't heard anything back from Strickland, but we did talk to Marlene Gafrick, the director of the city's planning and development department.

Gafrick told us that Ziggy's -- located at the corner of Fairview and Taft streets -- had an ownership change last year, and the new owner didn't renew a lease on a parking lot that gave the restaurant the required number of spaces. When the lease expired, Ziggy's was in violation.

Parking spaces seems like an important issue, and we figured the city's parking people could slap Ziggy's with a few healthy fines until it got everything fixed. Gafrick said the department has much more power than that.

"We can shut them down," Grafrick told Hair Balls.

And the parking department has, in fact, used that power before. In December of last year, the Bronx Bar on Washington Avenue had to close for about a week because of parking. The bar already closed the upstairs portion for two months for the same reason.

"It was a headache to say the least," says Chris Amez, who runs promotions for Bronx Bar. "We were fighting for three or four months."

Amez said that District, a bar across the street from Bronx Bar, and Roosevelt, another Washington Avenue club, were fighting the city over parking, too. 

Troubles started for Ziggy's in November, after the city learned -- from an anonymous phone call, Gafrick said -- that the parking-lot lease had expired. The city sent Ziggy's a letter on November 13, informing the restaurant that it had 90 days to fix the problem or "the director may revoke the certificate of occupancy for that use and that use shall cease immediately."

That means time is running out for Ziggy's, and as soon as there are any new developments, we'll be sure to update.

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