“If you grant the request, I can’t imagine what other circumstances you wouldn’t grant it to anyone else (who applies),” said attorney Chester Cedars.
The effect would be to remove the prohibition from the law, he said.
Although the Parish Council could not take action Tuesday, meeting as the Public Works Committee, council members offered little encouragement to businessman Andrew Babineaux, who is seeking a zoning variance so he can reopen the barroom previously known as The Green Frog on La. 31.
Babineaux argued that the barroom was there before the houses on nearby Orchard Park Drive, but Cedars countered that since the business closed, it is no longer grandfathered in.
Babineaux said if he has to, he will open the establishment as a bar and grill, which does not require a variance from the existing C-3 zoning as long as alcohol sales are less than 50 percent of the receipts, not counting video poker and other vending machines.
But he said he doesn’t like the idea because it means juvenile customers buying hamburgers will be mingling with his adult bar customers. And youngsters tend to throw their hamburger wrappers and soft drink cans in the road, which portends a trashier neighborhood will be the result of opening a restaurant rather than a tavern, he said.
Parish Planning and Zoning coordinator Calder Hebert told Babineaux he would need to see a business plan before permitting a hamburger restaurant to ensure it is not a subterfuge for a barroom.