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Council OKs Boulevard Tavern Permit

Iconic dive bar on Los Gatos Boulevard is brought into compliance with town code.

After being "illegal," sort-of-speak, for about two decades, The Boulevard Tavern finally has a permit to operate as a bar now that the Los Gatos Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to bring it into compliance.

With Councilmember Steven Leonardis absent due to a family vacation, the Council voted 4-0 to give the owners of the land, where the watering hole operates, a so-called "conditional-use permit."

The Tavern, 15043 Los Gatos Blvd., also avoided periodic permit review as had been suggested.

“Our permits run with the land, not with the business, and it doesn’t seem fair to impose the subsequent review on the property owners,” said Councilmember Diane McNutt. “There are safety nets in place and we don’t need the extra restrictions.”

Property owners Robert and Georgianna Spinazze bought the bar in 1991 when the property was annexed into Los Gatos and was given 20 years by the town to apply for the permit. Several years later, they sold The Tavern to its current owner Mike Ellenburg.

“We would like to keep things status quo,” said Georgianna Spinazze during the public hearing portion of the agenda item. “Mikey has done an amazing job cleaning up the bar. We’re not ready to sell the land, we support Mikey 100 percent."

Not a single meeting attendee opposed the bar's permit request.

On Jan. 25, the Los Gatos Planning Commission had also recommended approval of the permit without periodic review.

The 50-seat, 2,103-square-foot bar is located on a .64-acre site located in the town's North 40 area, which is currently under review for development.

It operates 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. It offers karaoke on Thursdays from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and occasionally has live bands on Fridays and Saturdays between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., according to a report.

The council also came to a consensus that the permit could be reviewed upon rezoning of the land or change in the North 40 Plan along Los Gatos Boulevard.

“What’s fair is fair,” said Councilmember Joe Pirzynski. “When North 40 gets developed there will be opportunity for its current owners to be part of that development. We’ll fully be able to accomplish our future goals without burdening the owners and operators of the property.”

Mike Calahan February 22, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Good move, Town Council. You did the right thing.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz February 22, 2012 at 05:53 PM
This place is just down the road from me. I think I've only been there once for a B'Day Party for a fellow "ZUMBA FITNESS" Instructor. We had a good time! I think the Town Council did a good thing as well!
Jeremy Barousse February 22, 2012 at 07:12 PM
According to the property owners and council, bar operator Mike Ellenburg has been doing an amazing job upkeeping the bar, wich has been serving the Los Gatos community for 20 years!
Melissa Pugh February 22, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Way to go, Town Council.
MichaelJ February 23, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Score one for the Town Council. We knew you were a reasonable bunch.

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