FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Fort Worth is prepared to go in front of a judge to show bikes and beer aren’t a good fit for an east side neighborhood.
A city council member has filed a protest with the state over an alcohol permit application from a motorcycle repair business.
Lovekraft Motor Werks is now facing a hearing in front of a county judge in May, to defend its plan.
Owner Dominic Velasquez said he started hearing almost immediately upon preparing business plans last year that he would run into pushback.
The shop where he works on vintage and European model motorcycles is in the United Riverside neighborhood, east of downtown.
With a location along the Trinity River, and a view of the skyline, he believed it was the right time to jump in on development that has creeped into the neighborhood over the last few years.
“We’re going to have like a stage, an actual bar, seating and all that stuff,” he said. “And then we’ve got our outdoor patio as well.”
He applied for a state permit to sell beer and wine, but state records show there was a citizen complaint lodged in October.
It came from the council member for the area, Kelly Allen Gray, who cited a general complaint that the permit would be detrimental to the neighborhood.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission did not join the protest, but referred it to a county judge for a hearing. Gray is being represented by the city attorney’s office.
Chris Mosley with the city attorney’s office noted city council members are one of the defined office holders who can protest an application, but declined to comment further on his office’s role. Gray’s office said she was not available to comment because of the legal department’s involvement.
The president of the neighborhood association, Don Marshall, pointed to concerns over the bar joining a nearby brewery, and package stores already in the area.
“There’s got to be some point we can say ‘no’,” he said. “No more alcohol facilities in the neighborhood.”
Phyllis Allen, who lives just east of the shop, said her primary concern was the property was not positioned well for the new use.
“It is set up to be a repair shop,” she said. “I don’t understand how you can be a repair shop from 8:00 in the morning to 6:00 at night, then become the biker bar from 6:00 at night to 2:00 in the morning.”
Velasquez said at a neighborhood association meeting where he tried to alleviate concerns, residents pointed to potential issues with parking, traffic and even his age and inexperience with a new type of business.
“I tried to set the record straight and they just didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” he said.
The city council was scheduled Tuesday to vote on a resolution authorizing the city attorney to protest the application, noting their belief it would be harmful to the neighborhood.