Fish Cheeks is back in the water after receiving approval from the Plan Commission and Community Development Committee this week.
Responding to the commission's request, John Kesselman of Milton Investments submitted more detailed plans on the restaurant proposed for 6818 W. North Ave. after it was held last month. The new plan includes a bike rack, locations for trash receptacles, three parking spots on the site of a house to be demolished behind the restaurant, and a residence inside the building. Kesselman said he had talked to residents around the restaurant to describe his plans and answer questions.
Parking continued to be a concern. Kesselman said he had inquired into a valet service that would serve several businesses, but finding a location for the cars and involving other businesses might require a business association, rather than just one operation.
Alderman Joel Tilleson, who supported the new business, said he and the other aldermen who represent East Tosa had met to discuss a larger solution to parking. Mayor Kathy Ehley, too, said the increased pressure on parking as the area develops would require a broader look.
Fish Cheeks is next door to Rocket Baby Bakery and across the street from BelAir Cantina.
The new plan adds a small living space inside the restaurant. Kesselman said it would be occupied by two imported chefs.
"Some of the chefs that come in, we bring in, may be with you and then go back with family parts of the year," Kesselman said. The chefs in this type of restaurant expect a place to live. "It's an odd thing, it's a cultural thing." Kesselman said he had identified the chefs who would work there.
Residents who appeared said they were worried about garbage, odors, vermin and snow removal.
Bill Quirmbach, who lives on 69th Street, said residents typically take the alley behind the restaurant site to get to 68th Street for access to North Avenue. "Snow gets piled up on both sides," and with cars and Dumpsters behind the restaurant, he said there will be less room for plowed snow.
Others said that Rocket Baby's refuse has attracted rats and racoons, and said fish refuse would be just as tempting, and would smell even worse.
Kesselman said he would be using a garbage disposal for his fish refuse, and no food debris would be in the Dumpster. He also said that the three parking spaces for cars would be large enough to hold plowed snow in front of the cars.
The Common Council will review the proposal next week.
"We've got a lot of momentum right now in East Tosa," said Alderman Bobby Pantuso, who with Tilleson represents the area.
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