A restaurant location on 100th Street that has stood vacant for several years should soon be back in use.
Council has approved a discretionary use application for a restaurant with associated lounge at 2001- 100th Street, to be known as the “Black Pepper”.
The location is the former Cheese Toast restaurant and lounge that closed in 2008. It is located in the C3 Zoning District which requires council approval for restaurants with associated lounges.
The applicant is Kuldeep Singh of Black Pepper Restaurant Ltd., who has other “Black Pepper” locations in Martensville and Saskatoon.
According to correspondence to the city dated Oct. 15, the intention is to offer different kinds of East Indian food and a wide variety of pizza at an affordable price. Signs for the new restaurant have already gone up at the location.
According to a city memo from junior planner Brett Kitchen, the developers have applied for a building permit and plan to do interior renovations to bring the property up to code. Their lounge area would be located in a small portion of the restaurant, and would be controlled by their liquor license.
It was noted the location had seen some issues in the past. According to City Planner Ryan Mackrell, the problems came about when the property was being run full-time as a lounge with live entertainment, resulting in “off-site spillover into residential areas that were a problem.”
The property was turned down in 2003 when it applied to City Hall for a tavern and night club. According to a city memo this was due to objections at the time from neighbouring residents about increased noise and garbage.
This application, however, was a brand-new one for a restaurant and adjoining lounge. Mackrell noted that lounges are not usually associated with live entertainment, as opposed to taverns. It was also emphasized the main use at the property would be as a restaurant with the lounge an “associated” use.
Administration did receive two letters from the public about the 2020 application. One requested the amount of entrances be limited, which the city says can be addressed through building and fire codes. The other letter requested the application be denied, expressing concerns about intoxication, noise disturbances and property safety issues from lounge patrons in the back alley behind the establishment.
Despite that, council was enthusiastic about a new restaurant at the long-vacant location, and administration did not foresee any major issues.
Mackrell told council the owner has been willing to work with administration, and believed the property can work if properly run as a restaurant and lounge. He recommended approval of the application.
Council approved the discretionary use application unanimously, but with an added condition to require a fence to be put up at the southwest corner of the lot to address concerns about access to the alley by patrons.