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City Lounge raises its glass to beer garden

Project to move forward without CDA assistance

April 21, 2009

City Lounge patrons will be able to sip their drinks in the open air this summer, despite the Community Development Authority's rejection of an $18,000 façade grant request.

Business owner Joseph Halser IV intends to build his $36,000 beer garden - featuring an open-air gazebo for patrons, "old-fashioned" light fixtures and lush landscaping - anyway. The smoke-free tavern is at 3455 E. Layton Ave.

The Plan Commission and Design Review Board unanimously approved the plans April 14.

Façade grants are available for landscaping, but the CDA's program is intended to revitalize dilapidated buildings, CDA Chairwoman Sara Eberhardy said, adding that the exterior of City Lounge "looks fantastic" and CDA members did not believe the project warranted grant funding.

Halser hopes the beer garden will be open to customers by the end of June.

He also has plans to raze two crumbling buildings adjacent to City Lounge on the other side of the planned beer garden. That should be completed in about three weeks.

Chantel Balzell can be reached at (262) 446-6602.

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