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Planning board recommends restaurant

by HEIDI DESCH
Editor | January 27, 2021 1:00 AM

The Whitefish Planning Board last week voted to recommend a conditional use permit for a new restaurant planned to operate out of a building on Lupfer Avenue.

The restaurant, Cru, is expect to include a beer and wine license and be located in the new building that is under construction.

Owner Emily Rindal told the planning board that the restaurant plans to serve beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

“We plan to serve simple meals — paninis and charcuterie boards,” she said. “I want it to be a classy addition to downtown.”

Planning board members approved of the idea for the restaurant.

“It seems very fitting for this area,” board member Whitney Beckham said. “I love that it closes by 10 p.m. for the neighbors.”

The restaurant, set to be about 1,600 square feet in size along with an outdoor patio, is planned to include a small kitchen and operate between the hours of 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. It’s expected to employ two full-time and two part-time employees, according to the planning staff report.

The restaurant is seeking a conditional use permit to operate. While restaurants are a permitted use in the WB-3 zone where the building is located, those that contain a bar or lounge are required to obtain a CUP under city zoning regulations.

The proposed use for the building has “effectively dealt with the site design issues because the business is located in a new building” that provides the required amount of parking spaces, traffic circulation and must comply with landscaping requirements, the staff report notes.

The planning board also recommended a request from Curtis and Christine Feeny for a conditional use permit to construct an accessory apartment above an existing garage at 1656 W, Lakeshore Drive.

Both items are set to go before City Council on Feb. 1.