Garden State and the BACA meeting

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Aaron Hirsch, an entrepreneur would like to open a restaurant with outdoor seating on the 1500 block of New Jersey Avenue, called Garden State. What is stopping him thus far is zoning. Currently the units he's interested in are zoned residential and the CO is for a variety shop, not a restaurant. So he's seeking support from the community for a zoning variance.
At the BACA meeting residents did raise the question of a liquor license. Yes, he's got to get the zoning issue taken care of first, but there is a potential problem across the street from the desired outdoor restaurant (no seating inside), and it is called a mosque. Hirsch said he's be open to not serving beer or wine during Friday prayers, but he's working on connecting with the imam, though he already spoke with someone from the mosque. Miles Hollerman, who is a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and on the BACA board, opposed the idea of alcohol as I expected.  For those of you not familiar Baptists are the non-drinking Christians.
Mr. Hirsch had a artist's drawing of what he's proposing, and it looks promising. A visual screen between patrons and mosque might help. The other thing, before I forget, it would be a seasonal restaurant, because it is outdoors.

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I can go to Istanbul, which is about 98% Muslim, and go to a restaurant across the street from a mosque, and have a beer - I have actually done that. I can do the same thing next to a church in any number of European countries. Why should churches and mosques in this city and country be entitled to some sort of exclusion zone around them based on their religious beliefs?

Well you should go ask Stu Davenport from Big Bear how he did the same thing! Must have done something to someone to get his stuff in!

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