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Commissioners Hear Pitch For Sports Restaurant

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – A new restaurant could be in the offing for downtown, planning commissioners were told during their regular monthly meeting Monday night.

    David L. Buford presented a 10-page business plan outlining the operation of the Diamond Bar and Grille, a sports theme restaurant. Buford hopes to open around the first of June, according to his plan.

    “In my opinion we really don’t have any place to go,” Buford said. “The young people between the ages of 15 to 18 really don’t have anything to do.”

    He emphasized having a family atmosphere “where you can come in with your wife and kids and sit down and have a beer and a little dinner. I’d like to have something where everybody could go.”

    Planning Commission Chairman Billy Humphreys explained that the commission doesn’t deal with alcohol regulations. However, he explained one of the requirements for serving beer states that at least 51 percent of the business’s income must come from the sale of food.

    Buford and the commissioners discussed variations of his business concept including how the mixture of restaurant and amusement games could be operated together.

    “Since it is a mixture – bar, grill, and maybe amusements – it will have to go before the board of aldermen,” Commissioner Eddie Foster added.

    “Probably your emphasis should be on the sports bar and grill,” suggested Commissioner Levert Hawkins.

    “I think he has a good start on what he wants to do,” Foster added and then spoke to Buford, “You just need to put some detail in the operation and exactly what’s going to be in there.”

    Buford told the commissioners that two sites are under consideration. One is the “old NAPA location” on South Main just south of the Dupuy Street intersection and the other is the “Flick My Wick” building in the 300 block of North Main.

    Both locations are within the central business district (CBD), according to commissioners. “It’s properly zoned for what he wants to do,” said Commissioner Ken French.

    After Buford’s presentation, James Woodard appeared before the commission requesting consideration of his plant to put two pool tables at 595 Wise St.

    Commission Chairman Humphreys explained to Woodard that he would have to make application to the city and provide an affidavit that there will be no drinking, no gambling, and no minors on the premises.

    “All I want to sell is chips, something like that. No alcohol, no minors.” Woodard responded.

    The final discussion involved a question from a city resident who asked if a portable parking garage would fall under construction and would require paying a building permit fee.

    The commissioners concluded that the structure would fall under portable buildings.

    Along with French, Foster, Hawkins, and Humphreys, commissioners Bonnie Cox and Lynn Morris were present at the meeting.

    The Planning Commission meets on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at City Hall. Persons wishing to appear before the group should call City Clerk Vivian Snider to be placed on the agenda.

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