Friday, May 11, 2012

Finnegan’s Wake tries again to expand

"If at first you don’t succeed, tweak the plan and try again.

It seems that’s what Mike Driscoll, a Democratic committeeman and owner of Finnegan’s Wake, has done to snag a block of Bodine Street in Northern Liberties.

City Councilman Mark Squilla introduced a bill Thursday that calls for making Bodine Street from Spring Garden to Green private property — a measure that was met with community opposition and languished in Council last year when it was introduced by then-Councilman Frank DiCicco.

Driscoll had planned on creating a three-story open bar and balconies on Bodine Street, but local residents were concerned about noise and giving up a public street.

Matt Ruben, president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, who was against the bill last year, said Squilla’s bill would create a public easement. But he said parts of the plan still need to be worked out. Ruben said people would be able to bike through Bodine, there would be ground level tables, and the three-story bar area would be moved to Spring Garden street.
Squilla said he introduced the bill Thursday so that if the community and Driscoll reach an agreement, the bill could be approved before Council’s two-month summer break.
There will be a zoning committee hearing on the plan May 21 at the Northern Liberities community center."

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