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Bar With Skee Ball, Pinball Hopes to Open in Maplewood

Business permits for a restaurant, bar and two auto-related shops gained preliminary approval on Monday night.

A bar featuring vintage pinball machines was among four business petitions* approved by the Maplewood Planning and Zoning Commission during a meeting on Monday night.

Michael Stivers sought a permit to open the bar on the corner of Sutton Boulevard and Hazel Avenue, in the building that previously housed Cooperella Cafe and House of Art. His business will feature a limited menu, a full service bar, two Skee ball lanes  and several pinball machines.

Stivers hopes to start a competitive Skee ball league with small teams, seasons, statistics and prizes. While more popular on the East Coast, the concept has made it's way to the Midwest. One other league exists in St. Louis, which doesn't bother Stivers. 

"Ok, I'm not the first, but I'll be the second. I don't think it will be a problem," Stivers said during the meeting.

Stivers' main concern is providing a full awning for the patio and placing bamboo between the patio and a privacy fence to create a sound barrier to protect neighborhood residents from noise.

Sam Harris and Dustin Pulley, two friends wanting to share a common space at 2803 S. Big Bend Blvd for two auto-related businesses, were also in attendance. They hope to open Touch of Class Auto Detailing and Tint Tech, a window tinting shop for homes, businesses and vehicles.

Commission members were concerned about available parking space because there's no residential street parking; only a small parking lot.

Harris said an auto shop existed at the site more than a year ago and never had an issue with parking.

"It can fit six or eight cars inside," Harris said. "You can fit maybe four cars in the front and four in the back." The commission later granted his request.

Representatives for Home Wine Kitchen were not in attendance but the wine bar's permit still gained approval from the commission. It will be headed up by chef Cassandra Vires and feature upscale comfort food in the location that housed , which closed earlier this year. 

The Maplewood City Council is expected to vote on the permits at its May 10 meeting. Each permit requires preliminary and final approval over two council meetings.

*A clarification was added to more accurately illustrate the role of the Maplewood Planning and Zoning Commission.

TP May 04, 2011 at 01:00 PM
All of these new businesses excite me. Talk about Something for Everyone! What an eclectic group of business - but that's what Maplewood is. Welcome!
Doug Miner May 04, 2011 at 01:47 PM
I love skeeball! A league sounds cool.
Ryan Martin (Editor) May 04, 2011 at 02:14 PM
You're going down, Miner!
Michelle Blodget May 04, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Skee ball is definitely exciting - I wonder how Vires' restaurant will do. Three restaurants have closed at that location, but there's a lot of hype around this particular chef, so we'll just have to try it and see.
Michelle Blodget May 05, 2011 at 05:50 AM
I love your point about the kids play area, Victoria. It's a genius idea, and works so well at Hartford Coffee. As far as filling that niche, I don't know. I know Vires plans on doing a Sunday brunch, which might draw that family crowd back in some, but it's not quite the same as relaxing with a cup of coffee and knowing the kids are having fun too.
Angel May 07, 2011 at 03:40 AM
I live near the old Cooper Ella site and the skee ball, pin ball idea sounds great. I'm glad to hear such an interesting business may be there. I also miss when Cooper Ella was a family friendly place.

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