If at first you don’t succeed…
…expand your liquor license!
That is the new strategy for the Walsh family, which seeks to extend the Tashmoo Restaurant & Bar’s liquor license to a two-story bar and restaurant that it wants to erect next door on DeHart Street. A Walsh proposal for a bowling alley and bar at that location got shot down by the Morristown council last summer.
The new place would be connected to Tashmoo across an alley, according to plans submitted to the council. Around the corner on South Street, Roots Steakhouse and Urban Table share a liquor license thanks to contiguous properties; the same goes for the Iron Bar and the Gran Cantina.
Plans for the DeHart Street establishment show three bars on the first floor and two more on the second floor, which would have a retractable roof. An illustration shows 140 seats and bar stools on the first floor, and another 24 seats around tables in what appears to be an enclosed front courtyard. At least 24 seats and nine bar stools would be upstairs, according to the plans.
Calls to David Walsh, the registered agent for the DeHart proposal, were not returned.
Opposition already is forming. Christine Conti-Collins, a resident of the 40 Park luxury condos who fought the bowling alley, has filed an objection to the new plans. She declined to discuss the matter, which may come before the council tonight, March 12, 2013.
Members of the Walsh family own Tashmoo and the Dark Horse Lounge, both on DeHart Street, along with Sona Thirteen on South Street and two more liquor licenses.
At contentious public hearings last year, proponents said a bowling alley would add to the downtown’s vibrancy. Area residents called bowling a front for another watering hole, and blamed bar patrons for rowdy behavior, public urination and other problems.
Downtown police patrols were beefed up on weekends, and the Mayor and council created a committee to explore how to make bar owners pay for the extra security. So far, no agreements have been announced.
A stately commercial house occupies the proposed bar/restaurant site. Billy Walsh has offered to donate it to a nonprofit.