New Windom Restaurant Seeking Late-Night Closing Time
Neighbors crying foul.
The owner of a new Toppers pizza restaurant looks like he's headed on a collision course with his neighbors in Southwest Minneapolis' Windom neighborhood over plans to stay open until 3:00 a.m.
In a phone interview Monday, owner Derek Henze told Patch that the late-night closing time is critical to his business. However, a group of his next-door neighbors at the corner of Nicollet Avenue and Diamond Lake Road say Henze's plans could bring trouble to the neighborhood. To stay open past 10:00 p.m. at that corner, Henze must get an extended hours permit from the city, subject to a public hearing before a city administrator on July 9.
"This is not the appropriate spot for after-bar parties," said David Evans, a former member of the Windom Community Council who lives across the alley from Henze's restaurant.
He told Patch on Friday that he expects Henze's extended hours to bring the "after-bar crowd" to his neighborhood, with a lot of noise and other disturbances in tow.
"We've had other businesses there over the years, and that strip mall has been there since the 1950s," Evans said. "Until now there hasn't been a business open there past 10 (because of zoning restrictions). We figured we were protected against a bar coming in or something."
Henze said he doesn't think his patrons will be a problem, citing what he called "above and beyond" security arrangements, and the "pick up and carry out" nature of his business.
"The neighbors are concerned and I respect that," Henze said. "There's one thing that I tell them: I’ve invested my time and life savings in this and I wouldn’t want customers who’ll come in and damage my lobby and cost me money."
Henze and Evans both say they are open to compromise, but their demands seem to be intractable. Citing other neighborhood businesses that close by 10 p.m. due to zoning restrictions, Evans said the Toppers should follow suit.
"We want to see this business be successful but we don’t believe we should have the livability of our homes compromised by a use that we should not have expected to happen" because of zoning, Evans said.
But according to Henze, his hands are tied in the situation. All other Toppers franchises stay open until 3:00 a.m., and company advertisements push this fact. Furthermore, Henze said, between 10 and 15 percent of all his revenue would come from late-night orders, making it very difficult to cut his hours short and sill make a profit.
It is possible that Henze and his neighbors could come to a compromise before he hearing. Both sides have spoken about the possibility of having the business close its doors around 10 p.m., but continue delivery service until much later at night.
"I want to cooperate and make this a win-win for everybody," Henze said. "I want to be able to serve everyone around the area as best I can."