With Tuesday's City Council approval of a valet parking plan, can move forward with plans to alter its liquor license and become a more family-friendly restaurant.
The eatery is that will allow minors to eat there. The application is pending and a city-approved parking plan is one of the conditions, owner Tim Aaron said.
A parking space in front of the restaurant will be used as a valet station from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays. The owners have a tentative agreement with Ace Parking to operate the service. Cars will be parked behind Coronado Hardware.
Several people noted that it will take away one parking space to gain four, but the city's business establishment, which holds street parking sacrosanct, didn't object.
“Normally,” said Coronado MainStreet's Rita Sarich of the lost space, “I’d be hyperventilating, but you required valet parking, so I don’t see any other option.”
The vote was 3 to 2, with Mayor Casey Tanaka and Councilwoman Barbara Denny in opposition.
A half dozen residents, who consistently have opposed any council actions on the restraurant, . Their principle argument was that a valet service would generate more noise and congestion.
“People waiting for their cars have no idea of how noise travels,” Elaine Fenwick said. “The sidewalk is already compromised by outside dining,” she added.
Others echoed her concerns with charges of favoritism toward the restaurant's owner and his team. “You’re catering to one guy,” Brian Stewart said.
One opponent, Steve Rauber, took it a step further, accusing Councilwoman Carrie Downey of unethical behavior. Councilman Al Ovrom took strong exception to Rauber's stance.
“I suggest you put that in writing,” he told Rauber. “If you can’t substantiate it at FPPC (the Fair Political Practices Commission), you can’t be saying it here.”
Ovrom challenged the favoritism charge. “We’re not showing preference. I understand noise concerns, but it is a business zone, not a residential zone,” he said. “When you have mixed use you have noise. It’s a fact of life.”
Downey also argued against the idea of preferential treatment, pointing out that the valet plan was similar to others the city has approved.
Vigilucci’s, Chez Loma and Miguelitos use valet plans similar to the one pending for Nicky Rottens.
She also insisted the council was not doing any more for this business than they had for others. She said that in supporting Nicky Rottens she was backing the Coronado Chamber of Commerce's desire to improve the business district at the foot of Orange Avenue.