One of Burbank's newest breweries will soon have a tasting room to give beer enthusiasts a sneak peek into its latest creations.
The Planning Board voted 4-1 on Monday to approve a conditional-use permit for Lincoln Beer Co., which allows it to open a 1,153-square-foot tasting room inside its 7,487-square-foot brewery located at 3038 N. Lima St.
Chairwoman Kimberly Jo voted against issuing the permit because, though the project provides the required number of parking spaces, she wanted there to be a covenant for an additional five spaces, which would have been the requirement if the business opened as a new facility today.
However, because the owners of Lincoln Beer Co. are converting the warehouse they bought into a brewery and tasting room, the business is grandfathered in and needs to provide only 10 parking spaces — which was the original number of spaces at the site, said Maciel Medina, an assistant planner for Burbank.
The approval did not sit well with a few residents who live nearby. They said they feared the tasting room, which will have a 100-person capacity, will end up becoming a bar.
"There's no parking at all [on this street] and it's completely full all-day long," resident Scott Alberts said. "We have industrial buildings there, a lot of employees, and they park all over the place."
Medina and Lincoln Beer Co. owners Patrick Dunn and Ryan Lipson all said that the tasting room would not open until 5 p.m., which is about the time that most of the businesses next to the brewery close.
"There's plenty of parking on the street," Dunn said. "Nobody's going to be getting inebriated. It's a tasting room. Nobody's going bar hopping in a [light industrial] zone. Beer enthusiasts are specifically coming to try the product. I just want the ability to brew new, experimental [beers], like habanero vanilla, weird beers and try them out before I put them out to market and talk to my customers."
To obtain a conditional-use permit to open a tasting room, Dunn and Lipson agreed to not serve food, not have any live music or entertainment and not have an outdoor seating area.
Board member Christopher Rizzotti said he was not concerned that the tasting room would turn into a rowdy bar, overflowing with people.
"The conditions of approval are pretty strict," he said. "No food, no music, no live music — It's boring. It's tasting [beer] and incidental to what they do. I don't really see this as a bar. I don't see this as a raging party."
Anthony Clark Carpio, firstname.lastname@example.org