New project that could demolish Silky Sullivan’s up for debate by Fountain Valley City Council

Silky Sullivan's.
A mixed-use development is proposed for a 3.34-acre site that includes Silky Sullivan’s, a bar that has been in its current location since 1984.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The future is up in the air at Silky Sullivan’s, with a mixed-use project proposed for the very spot where the popular Irish pub sits.

The five-story development, proposed by applicant Slater Investments, would include 270 residential units, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant with 2,000 square feet of outdoor dining space, a walk-up coffee and lunch bar, a 1,600-square-foot art gallery and a six-level parking garage, among other amenities. The garage would have 485 residential and 56 commercial parking spaces.

The Fountain Valley City Council will consider approval of land entitlements for that project at its regular meeting Tuesday.

City staff said the project will be built on a 3.34-acre site located at the northeast corner of San Mateo Street and Slater Avenue.

Construction would require the demolition of what already has been developed on that site, which includes a one-story plus mezzanine building built in 1967, two two-story office buildings built in 1974 and Silky Sullivan’s, which has occupied the footprint of the city’s former post office since 1984.

Silky Sullivan’s owner Bill Madden said there aren’t any concrete plans as to what will happen to the business if the project is approved, but he said the pub has no intention of closing.

“What’s next is we’ll have to see if the City Council approves it. If they don’t, then Silky’s stays where it is,” Madden said Friday. “If they do approve it, Silky’s will move to another location at that point in time. But we just have to wait and see what the City Council does.

“We have a lot of options right now. People have come to me about wanting to go here or there. But right now, Silky’s is where we are, and we’re in Fountain Valley and we’re just being Silky’s. We’ve been here for 38 years, and we’re kind of an icon in the community, and we just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

City staff reported the city’s Planning Commission reviewed and approved the project proposal in early March.

Up for the council’s consideration is the approval of three amendments to existing zoning codes that principally deal with the designation of the site for mixed-use.

“Efforts to create this new general plan land use designation and zoning map designation will help facilitate a way of helping sustain commercial development in the city while allowing opportunities for residential development to help reach the city’s [regional housing needs assessment] allocation of 4,839 units,” staff said in a report prepared for Tuesday’s meeting.

“The project site is one of 11 identified opportunity sites that have been identified through the general plan update process for residential development to reach the city’s RHNA allocation.”

Madden said it was possible that the bar may be “relocated” into the proposed project if it gains approval, but it is uncertain at this time.

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