Two new bars are preparing to open downtown, this time, without controversy.
Supernova, a bar and arcade with vintage video games, announced plans to open at 111 E. Boulder St. Whiskey Dick’s will open at 26 E. Kiowa St., where Conscious Table closed down earlier this summer.
The new establishments didn’t have to go through the same zoning process with the Downtown Review Board, an arm of the City Planning Commission, that Sam and Kathy Guadagnoli started when they wanted to expand their Gasoline Alley tavern license into a building they had under contract next door at 26 N. Tejon St.
The Guadagnolis ultimately backed out of the deal to buy the building when neighbors voiced opposition to the planned bar. Several people living in nearby lofts wrote letters complaining about bar noise.
The reason the new establishments opening this month didn’t have to go through the same process is that they applied for restaurant liquor licenses rather than tavern licenses.
According to state law, that means they will have to get at least 25 percent of their revenue from food sales, said City Planner Ryan Tefertiller. However, the downtown form-based code has a higher threshold and requires restaurants to get at least 50 percent of their revenue from food sales.
While both establishments seem to be marketing themselves as bars, Tefertiller said they will both have full kitchens.
The couple who own and operate the Rabbit Hole are also opening Supernova, Tefertiller said.
“Rabbit Hole certainly has good food and full menu selection,” Tefertiller said. “I imagine they’ll carry some of that over.”
He also helped them establish some outdoor patio seating for diners.
Whiskey Dick’s will transfer the Conscious Table liquor license to its name.
Tefertiller said he’s not sure yet how audits will work. But if it’s determined that the restaurants are getting less than 50 percent of their revenue from food sales, the Downtown Review Board will require a rezoning or conditional use permit application.