Aug 7, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterThe Riverton City Council in July approved additional outdoor serving space for the R Bar --formerly the Time Out Bar --at 514 N. Federal Blvd.
Pursuant to state statutes as well as the Riverton Municipal Code, any changes to the serving area of a retail establishment with a liquor license must be approved by the local licensing authority. Bar owners Mark and Ricki Larsen requested the 967-square-foot modification.
"(They're) increasing their serving area outside of their building, (and we're) giving them permission to serve alcohol out there," city clerk Courtney Bohlender said during the July meeting.
Community development director Sandy Luers said she met with Mark Larsen on site to ensure the addition left sufficient space for cars to maneuver in and out of the bar's parking lot. She also checked to make sure the parking lot entrance was well-lit in case of emergency.
"We have worked most of those issues out with Mr. Larsen at this time," Luers reported to the council.
She said the bar will lose two parking spaces due to the additional fencing surrounding the new seating area. If the lack of space becomes a problem, Luers said the city can address the situation in the future.
Larsen told the council that he wanted to improve the site and the facility by providing additional seating in the back of the building.
In the past, he said a smaller seating area was available.
"We're basically going to expand our fence out (to) double the size of that," he said. "We can play bocce (ball) and some sand bag games and have the shaded area for seasonal activity back there. ... Hopefully it helps our business."
He added that the move will allow for two new parking spots to replace the two being obstructed by the fence.
"(People can) park east-west right behind that fencing," he suggested. "People couldn't park there before because if someone parked north-south no one could park behind them. When we get this done, they'll be able to park in an east-west configuration. I don't think we'll lose parking spaces in the limited area we have."
He said he wants his bar to reflect well on the community. Since he purchased the property in October 2013, Larsen said he has cleaned and painted the building and re-oiled the parking lot, painting it with more visible stripes outlining where people can park.
Larsen said R Bar will be a smoke-free establishment. He also plans to be vigilant when it comes to the safety of his employees and customers.
"Running a bar, we know the city shares those concerns," Larsen said. "That's our top priority."
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