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Parents raise concerns over Jeremiah's Tavern proposal in Penfield

Posted at: 01/24/2013 10:39 AM
By: Messenger Post Newspapers

Some have voiced their concerns about a proposal to build a new Jeremiah’s Tavern in Penfield, saying it could create problems due to its proximity to a child care facility.

Jeff Reddish, owner of the restaurant, presented his tentative plan to build the restaurant on Route 250, next to Doodlebugs Day Care Center and Preschool during a public hearing before the Penfield Town Board on Wednesday, January 23. If approved, this would be the restaurant’s third location in region.

“I want to stress very clearly that we are definitely not a bar,” said Reddish, saying the establishment has had an “impeccable record” at its Rochester and Gates locations, referring to behavior from customers. “We have gone through great lengths to make sure Jeremiah’s Tavern is family friendly.”

The restaurant has a children’s menu and casual atmosphere. Reddish said that the business fully intends to be a “good neighbor” by sponsoring youth sports teams and by bringing at least 30 new jobs to the area.

Still, several parents stepped forward to speak against the proposal. Mark Chester, of Fairport, whose son who attends Doodlebugs, said his biggest concern is activity in the outdoor seating area, such as drinking, smoking, and use of profanity. As far as the nature of the business, “It’s not a restaurant,” Chester said. “It is a tavern.”

Sarah Lindahl, of Webster, said peak hours for working parents to pick up their children from the day care would overlap with dinner hours at Jeremiah’s. She pointed out that the outdoor seating area is visible from the playground at Doodlebugs.

“I don’t want my kids exposed to those sorts of things,” she said. “I would much prefer seeing a family friendly restaurant there.”

Doodlebugs closes at 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. According to the proposal, some parking would be shared between the two businesses.

The board will discuss the proposal at a work session on Wednesday, February 13 at 7 p.m.