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P&Z Toasts Wine Bar Concept

The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously praised Mimi McLaughlin and Jeff Marron's proposal for a wine and beer bar at the location of the former Bedroom Matters, 20 Railroad Place. Now what the couple needs are the zoning amendments that can make their dream possible. “My biggest concern is the landlord is going to get another tenant if we have to wait,” said McLaughlin.

The Railroad Place location lacks the parking their business requires under the existing rules.  The Bar Car, as the duo calls their venture, is considered too close to an existing liquor store. Both of those issues might be resolved with proposed amendments to the zoning regulations.  According to P&Z Vice Chairwoman Eleanor Lowenstein, it might be months, however, before the amendments are adopted.

McLaughlin and Marron do not have an application before the Planning and Zoning Commission yet. They were presenting a pre-application in order to discover what roadblocks and resolutions to an eventual application might exist.

Occupancy at the location isn’t expected to exceed 45 at any given time. McLaughlin said more than that would be uncomfortable.

“We’re not trying to start a noisy nightclub,” she said. “We’re trying to create a nice place where people can gather together and discuss wine.”

The duo were encouraged by the comments from the commission. Now they just have to wait out the process and see what develops with the amendments. Once McLaughlin and Marron have The Bar Car up and running they can work on their next venture: marriage. They are engaged but holding off on a date until after The Bar Car rolls out.

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