Turlock Planning Commission Approves Later Hours and Entertainment for Downtown Bar

The Turlock Downtown will have some added nightlife beginning this month, as Red Brick Cafe is now permitted to extend their operating hours until 1:30am.

Turlock Planning Commission unanimously voted to amend the cafe’s permit at Thursday night’s Turlock Planning Commission.
The amendment consists of extending the cafe’s operating hours from 12:00am to 1:30am and allowing outdoor and indoor entertainment, effective Thursday, August 18, 2011.
In conjunction with the cafe, Two Guys Catering has operated as a banquet facility for seven years, and entertainment for weddings and other events are not a new addition to the facility.
The entertainment for the cafe will be permitted Friday and Saturday nights until 10:00pm and Sunday through Thursday nights until 9:00pm.
“We appreciate the help of the City Planning Department and Turlock Police Department,” said Two Guys Catering co-owner Stephen Backus. “We think this will be an asset to the Downtown, and we will continue to be a good neighbor.”
Customers are excited about the cafe being open until 1:30am, a request staff and management of the cafe has heard for months.
“Red Brick has a great atmosphere, and that’s why we all go there,” said cafe regular Derek Smith. “It’s a great place, with good people having a good time with no problems.”
To keep it that way, Katie Melson, Assistant Planner for Development Services, introduced some potential issues associated with the time extension and addition of entertainment.
For the next sixth months, the cafe will be under supervision to assure the facility is operating in compliance with the City ordinance. Administrative action will be taken based on complaints, and spontaneous bar checks by the Turlock Police Department (TPD).
The issue of alcohol use and business management was addressed in relation to the hour and a half extension for the cafe.
With over 133 ABC bar licenses in Turlock, the extension of the cafe’s hours did not seem to be a big concern for the Planning Commission.
Turlock Police Sergeant Nino Amirfar said that there have been eleven intoxicated people from the Turlock district taken to jail, and none have been from Two Guys Catering/Red Brick Cafe.
To mitigate problems, the cafe will be responsible for contacting TPD for any disturbances that occur during business hours.
Sergeant Amirfar explained that he does expect call volume to climb, as alcohol tends to result in a couple of people that are irresponsible. He said that as long as the cafe is notifying TPD when it is necessary, the rise in call volume is okay.
“If we’re responding because patrons are calling us, we are going to have a problem,” said Sergeant Amirfar. “But I don’t think that will happen.”
In regards to business management, on-staff security will need to be present, 1 per every 100 customers, a practice already in place at the cafe.
Melson explained that the cafe will need to stay in compliance with the City Noise Ordinance, and no complaints have been received thus far regarding outdoor entertainment.
A neighbor to Two Guys Catering voiced her concern for amplified outdoor entertainment late at night. Upon learning that the sound will be equivalent to that of entertainment for weddings, and will not continue until the cafe’s closing of 1:30am, she had no problem with the addition.
“It sounds like so far they have been a good neighbor,” said Chair Mike Brem.
Parking was an issue of discussion, as accommodating parking spaces for people attending a banquet function concurrently with the cafe/bar could result in congesting the Downtown core parking.
To mitigate this issue, the cafe cannot be occupied simultaneously with the banquet facility Monday through Fridays from 8am – 5pm, to ensure there is still enough parking for other Downtown businesses during the work week.
Backus, and co-owner Ed Samo, said that it would not be a problem.
“I have had numerous experiences at Two Guys, and I have to say they run a very tight ship,” said Chair Brem. “I think they have a pattern of being very, very good community citizens and business people, and I think they would expect nothing less as they go forward.”

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