Wauwatosa panel delays approval of Fish Cheeks seafood restaurant
Plan Commission wants better site plan for Fish Cheeks restaurant
Fish Cheeks may fatten a bit before they're served in Wauwatosa.
Plan Commission approval of the sushi and seafood restaurant proposed for 6818 W. North Ave. — yet another foody addition to East Tosa — was held for a month to give the developer time to add details to his site plan.
The planned restaurant — next to the Rocket Baby Bakery and across the street from the new Bel Air Cantina — would be a long, narrow structure, 30 feet wide on the North Avenue side and 67 feet deep. The building on the site, 740 square feet, would be remodeled and enlarged to 2,000 square feet, said John Kesselman, who presented the plan on behalf of Milton Investments.
The restaurant would have a seating capacity of 50 to 60, including seating outside for a dozen. Alderwoman Kathleen Causier, a member of the commission, said that may represent 20 or more cars, and wondered where they would park. Kesselman said he envisioned off-site parking the restaurant would lease and even suggested a valet service that would serve a number of local businesses.
"It's a general problem along the street for the smaller businesses," Kesselman said.
Commissioner Gloria Stearns asked Kesselman to provide an overlay of a possible parking lot on the site of the house behind the restaurant, on 68th Street, which is also part of the property and could be razed.
Kesselman said that would only yield space for three cars at most, but said he would provide the overlay.
In addition to a solution to parking, the commission sought details on the location of a Dumpster or other trash receptacles outside and on questions of egress.
Alderman Joel Tilleson, whose district includes the site, expressed strong support for the business. Tilleson said bike racks should be included in the plan, as the business is likely to draw strongly from the surrounding neighborhood. He said the bike racks at Bel Air Cantina are "full every night."
Mayor Kathy Ehley was concerned about the developer's attentiveness to city requirements.
"Everyone agrees that we want more vibrant businesses, and it's better to have a good strong business than an empty building," she said. "The one concern I have is the fact that several of the things that we're talking about tonight...were things that staff brought forth prior to this meeting, and it does concern me that they weren't addressed prior to this meeting. That is a little bit of a red flag, and I would hope that's not how things are going to be happening going forward."
Kesselman said he had trouble connecting with a city employee he needed to work with.
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