A 350-seat restaurant with outdoor seating and nine public boat docks received unanimous tentative approval Wednesday from the town council.
“This would not be as casual as Guanabanas. It would be a little more upscale,” said project planner Don Hearing, speaking of a nearby waterfront restaurant that also has public boat docks.
Plans for the Jupiter Inlet Restaurant, formerly Brix Italian Fishery, call for valet parking and public docking for nine boats on the Loxahatchee River. The boats would be allowed to dock for up to four hours. The slips would not be available for lease.
A 23-seat outdoor cabana would have a view of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.
Safety on the boat dock, impact on sea grass and noise from the outdoor cabana were concerns brought up during the discussion prior to the vote.
“We like the project. But we don’t want the outdoor cabana,” said Jerry Scharf, a resident of nearby Jupiter Harbour.
The restaurant, which would have about 50 employees, would be required to close at midnight. Outdoor live music would require a special-event permit from the town.
“It’s a good project. Right now, it’s a wasted resource,” Vice Mayor Wendy Harrison said.
The new restaurant property would connect with Riverwalk, the town’s 2.4-mile pedestrian/bicycle waterfront path from Ocean Way to the Jupiter Inlet.
“That area has been physically cut off. Connectivity is a benefit for the public and business,” Mayor Karen Golonka said.
Property owners want a waiver that would allow 350 seats. Town code allows 75.
In addition, the town requires 188 parking spaces; the plan calls for 153. The 35 spaces will be made up through a shared parking plan with nearby commercial property, the plan states.
Second and final reading of the plan, which is recommended for approval by the town’s planning staff, is scheduled for Oct. 15.
“We expect the restaurant will become a destination for people to come and use Riverwalk,” said Bjarne Borg, co-founder of Stockholm-based Index Investment Co., which owns the property. Borg said the North America headquarters of his company would be on the second floor above the restaurant.
To view the plan, visit jupiter.fl.us