Couple get Annapolis board's approval to open pub, tearoom in historic building

October 03, 2002|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

Annapolitans will soon be able to sip tea or hoist a beer at the 18th-century Reynolds Tavern building on Church Circle.

The city's Board of Appeals agreed Tuesday night to allow Jill and Andrew Petit of Arnold to convert the vacant building into a pub and tearoom with upstairs hotel suites.

The Petits' establishment will be allowed to have a seating capacity of 246 - including 120 seats on an outdoor terrace, a major point of contention for some downtown residents.

The couple said they needed the additional seating to make their business plan work for the circa 1747 building. The last two restaurants there failed.

Yesterday, Andrew Petit said he was "delighted" with the board's decision, which allows them to open pending approval of a liquor license application and of their signs by the Historic Preservation Commission. He said he hopes to open Nov. 10.

"We had a great meeting, we had tremendous public support and I am glad that the board decided to substantially approve our request," he said. "Without a doubt, this gives us what we think we'll need to make this a viable operation."

More than 120 people showed up at the public hearing on the project before the Board of Appeals last month, said Jacquelyn M. Rouse, a senior planner in the city's Department of Planning and Zoning. Only a half-dozen of the 34 people who spoke were opposed to the plan, Rouse said. Concerns included noise and traffic.

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