by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
BATH — The Bath City Council voted unanimously in their first meeting of the year to grant an amusement license to Front Street Public House, a new restaurant and bar that has opened in the former location of the controversial Black Barnacle on Front Street in Bath.
The vote, which came after a minimal discussion with Chris Johnston, the owner of multiple restaurants in the area, was to allow the restaurant to have live music.
According to Johnston, the music will be limited to acoustic performances only, as the building doesn’t have the space to hold a large production.
“Guitar, fiddle, the occasional keyboard, kazoos, harmonicas – there’s not a lot of space in there as I mentioned at the previous meeting, maybe enough for one or two people,” said Johnston during the Council Meeting.
Andrew Winglass, councilor at large, asked Johnston if there were any plans to expand into the space that will be vacated by Winter’s Gone in the coming month, now that the business plans on leaving. According to Johnston, since they had not anticipated anything of the sort happening, they are in no position to move in.
The council also accepted the Bath Freight Shed Alliance’s proposal to give the city a set of bricks that will be etched with names or phrases chosen by the people purchasing them. The bricks will be used as a fundraiser for the project itself, and will be incorporated into the city sidewalk that has been planned to be constructed along Commercial street.
Bath City Manager Bill Giroux had been approached by the freight shed alliance about the project, which had already been approved by the Maine DOT. He asked for the Freight Shed Alliance to bring it up at the council meeting, to ensure that the city government fully approved the project.
Although some council members were worried about the possible difference in durability between the bricks, Wiebke Theodore, the co-founder of the Freight Shed Alliance, provided ample proof of their durability and convinced the council to approve of the project.
The council was also approached about establishing a conservation easement for Butler Head by the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. After a lengthy discussion, the council decided to table the issue until next month’s meeting, in order to fully notify all residents near the proposed area of the planned change.
In addition to this, the council approved authorization for the BIW TIF, with all but David Sinclair of Ward 6 voting in favor of the motion.
“I feel that we have insufficient information to be able to justify the numbers that this agenda item asks us to approve and to endorse. For that reason alone, I will be voting against this,” said Sinclair.