The owners of a proposed Mid City beer garden said they want to open a community-oriented establishment where neighbors can get together and have a beer and talk.
“We have the same idea with this as the Radio Bar. If we’re not going to have neighborhood support, we’re not going to do it,” said Dave Remmetter, who co-owns the Radio Bar with Brian Baiamonte. The two men, along with Kelli Paxton, manager of the Radio Bar, would own the as-yet unnamed beer garden at the corner of Government Street and Steele Boulevard.
The city-parish planning commission is scheduled on Sept. 21 to vote on rezoning the property at 3808 Government St. to allow for a beer garden.
To clear up concerns about the establishment, the Capital Heights Neighborhood Association sponsored a public meeting Monday evening at Grace Mid City Baptist Church. Remmetter and Baiamonte discussed their plans for the beer garden and fielded questions from the audience, which filled up most of the church. Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle, whose district includes the proposed beer garden site, was on hand, along with Ryan Holcomb, assistant planning director.
Based on the questions and comments, the overwhelming majority of the audience seemed to support the development.
“Someone is going to do something with this property,” said Jacob Newsom, a member of the neighborhood association who worked at Chelsea’s Café, which Remmetter owns. “At least in this case, this is someone who will work with you.”
While the details of the beer garden are still being developed, plans are to have a covered bar with an open-air area. Unlike the Radio Bar, the beer garden will serve food and there will be televisions so patrons can watch LSU and Saints games.
“We don’t want it to be that loud. We want you to come and talk to your friends and neighbors,” Remmetter said.
Remmetter, Baiamonte and Paxton all live in Mid City.
“If someone else opened a beer garden on Government Street, I would go in,” Remmetter said.
The plan is to keep most of the noise confined to the establishment. Lance S. Malley, an architect with The Architectural Studio, who is developing the beer garden, said there will be a buffer to keep sound from spilling out into the nearby neighborhood. The buffers will include the parking lot surrounding the beer garden, a wooden fence, vegetation, and a 12-foot masonry wall on one side of the establishment.
“The sound transferring out of the space will be minimal,” Malley said.
Barrington Neil, who lives with his wife, Robin, in a house right behind the Radio Bar, said the cocktail lounge has been a “fabulous thing for Ogden Park.” Neil said he doesn’t hear any noise from the bar at his house and there haven’t been any negative things, like fights, litter or drunken people walking through his neighborhood.
“Everything David and Brian promised us, they followed through,” he said.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter @TCB_TheAdvocate.