SLO Brewing Company move hits roadblock

September 26, 2012

The San Luis Obispo City Council decided that it was not yet ready to finalize the move of restaurant, bar and nightclub, SLO Brewing Company, from its current location on Garden Street around the corner to Higuera Street.

Council members voted 4-0 Tuesday night to continue on a later date the hearing of the relocation appeal filed by the concerned citizen group Save Our Downtown. Councilman Dan Carpenter recused himself due to property ownership in the area.

Despite hearing multiple hours of testimony from nearly 50 speakers, most of whom supported the proposed relocation, the council voiced numerous concerns with the proposed project. In particular, council members objected to the increase in capacity from the current venue to the proposed new one — the Carissa Building at 736/738 Higuera Street. Including a rooftop patio, the 15,000 square foot Carissa Building could hold a maximum of 1,221 occupants, 600 of whom could fit in the second floor auditorium intended to hold concerts. The total maximum occupancy would increase 65 percent from the Garden Street location.

In postponing its decision, the council instructed city staff to work with Hamish Marshall, owner of the property, and his planning team to reduce the capacity of the proposed new development.

“If this were simply similar size in terms of square footage occupancy, this would be a true relocation,” Mayor Jan Marx said.

Marx suggested that the council delay its decision on the venue relocation until after November 6, following the election where the mayor position and two council seats are up for election. City staff said it would set a target date of November 20 for the item to return to council.

In addition to demanding a reduced-size proposal, the council directed the SLO Brewing Company team to consider eliminating the rooftop patio, reducing the hours of operation and altering the event cuing plans so not to cause disturbances in the area around the creek and mission. Likewise, the council objected to the proposed first-floor design of an interchangeable restaurant and bar.

Advocates for SLO Brewing Company said the increase in venue size would be necessary to attract big name bands and performing artists to the area.

“We’re asking for a move of our operation about 60 yards,” SLO Brewing Company manager Todd Newman said.

But, the council did not see the relocation that way.

“We really are a very small community,” Councilwoman Kathy Smith said. “We don’t have to be the center of the entertainment world.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Please Please vote out Marx so I don’t have to hear her stupid comments.

Screw the brew, let’s bring 80’s disco back to Tortilla Flats. (holds about 50)

Um, Tortilla Flats turned into Ciopino several years ago. There is no dance floor there any more. But if you really want to resurrect a club from the past, kick KSBY out of their spot on the hill and bring back Loco Ranchero!

So the city council supports a big development for the block where SLO Brew currently resides, benefits from encouraging SLO Brew to think they can relocate to a larger space, then pulls the rug. Nice.

We should be so lucky that SLO brew can fill that new space and pay all the taxes and hire all the employees that go with doing so an. Most of that cash is coming from other parts of the state too! (Cal Poly students)

Good one !

Dang. Just when John Ryan Mason has worn out his welcome at Pappy McGregor’s.


Come on over to Grover Beach. We would like to have your business here.

Who really gives a damn? Just where does the city council get the chutzpah to believe they should even be voting on such a matter? It’s free enterprise who already has to follow a boatload of rules. Leave them alone.

Moving SLO Brew from its current location to its proposed location isn’t going to have any impact on Downtown SLO except one. The old location will no doubt become a bar/club/tasting room/restaurant of some kind. But that’s what Downtown SLO has become — restaurants, alcohol dispensaries and trinket shoppes.

You’re not really up on news, are you ?

The Garden Terraces project was voted on 11-3-2011 by city council on a 4 to 1 vote, Kathy Smith dissenting .

Where SLO Brew is will be razed. No ‘old location’.

Nimrod !

What’s going on be on the ground floor of that project?

Think before you type you stultified individual.

“We really are a very small community,” Councilwoman Kathy Smith said. We don’t have to be the center of the entertainment world.”

What a backwoods, parochial view.

I’ve got news for Councilwoman Smith: they gave the approval for the new HUGE hotel and business complex that is forcing the move by the long established Downtown Brew that has been providing plenty of name “entertainment” acts in varied genres for years.

The current business is trying to stay in business, and any move is a gamble. Since this is a forced move brought about by the city, they should be facilitating this transition, not trying to block it.

But the city shines when it comes to putting up roadblocks to businesses, unless of course your have a certain name.