Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Berret’s outdoor stage proposal secures recommendation from Planning Commission

Berret’s Seafood Restaurant & Taphouse Grill has applied for a special use permit with Williamsburg’s Architectural Review Board to place a stage for live music on the outdoor lawn. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Google Maps)
Berret’s Seafood Restaurant & Taphouse Grill has applied for a special use permit with Williamsburg’s Architectural Review Board to place a stage for live music on the outdoor lawn. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Google Maps)

Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill is one step closer to having a new and improved outdoor event space downtown.

The city’s Planning Commission voted 4-0 to approve two different agenda items needed to allow Berret’s to build an 8-by-8-foot stage outside the Taphouse Grill. The stage could play host to live acoustic and amplified music seven days a week any time of the year, although Berret’s said the events will likely be from May to October.

Two members abstained. Commissioner Jeffrey Klee recused himself from the vote, as he is an employee of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Greg Granger also abstained from voting on the matter.

The two agenda items, which are proposed by Colonial Williamsburg, the property owner of Berret’s, will now move on to a future City Council meeting for official approval or denial of the application.

The first agenda item would change the zoning ordinance to allow property owners in the B1 District downtown to build outdoor event spaces with a special use permit. The second item would grant a special use permit for Berret’s to build the stage adjacent to the entrance of the Taphouse Grill.

The special use permit would also allow a new 36-by-26-foot patio by the stage. The new patio would add 936 square feet to the Taphouse Grill’s existing 300 square feet of outdoor space.

Berret’s Seafood Restaurant & Taphouse Grill has applied for a special use permit with Williamsburg’s Architectural Review Board to place a stage for live music on the outdoor lawn. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Google Maps)
Berret’s Seafood Restaurant & Taphouse Grill has applied for a special use permit with Williamsburg’s Architectural Review Board to place a stage for live music on the outdoor lawn. (WYDaily/Courtesy of City of Williamsburg)

Berret’s has hosted live music for years and featured local musicians. Some of those performances have already been located outside, but on a lawn that was sometimes muddy and didn’t have a cover.

The Planning Commission recommended City Council approve the request contingent upon several conditions:

  • Music must end by 9:30 p.m.
  • The Architectural Review Board must approve the final design, including light or a stage cover
  • Musical acts must be no more than two people
  • All equipment must stay on the stage.

There were no speakers during the public hearing section of the agenda.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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