Board to Consider Controversial Entertainment Permit

by Katie Pyzyk September 14, 2012 at 10:00 am 3,547 17 Comments

Pines of Italy (3111 Columbia Pike) is trying again this weekend to get the County Board to approve its request for a live entertainment permit.

Board members deferred the issue at their April meeting, when a number of neighbors spoke out against allowing the permit. The restaurant co-owners were given five months to establish the business as one that police do not have to visit regularly, and to improve relations with neighbors.

The county staff report indicates that police have not encountered problems at the site during the past five months. There were also no complaints from community members. Additionally, the owners attended an Arlington Heights Civic Association meeting, and are working with county staff on conditions for allowing the permit.

One such condition is that music and dancing would not be permitted after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and not after 10:00 p.m. on weeknights. In addition, entertainment would be restricted to the ground floor in the section of the building closest to Columbia Pike, in an attempt to avoid projecting noise toward residences behind the building. County staff also requested that the restaurant hire dedicated security for the parking lot. To improve the restaurant’s standing with the surrounding community, the owners are to coordinate a standing meeting with the Arlington Heights Civic Association in order to foster a relationship and ensure that any problems are addressed.

The owners have agreed to all the conditions, along with the recommendation of an administrative review in three months, and a County Board review in six months. Should issues come to light during the three month review, the permit could be brought before the County Board for an off-cycle review. Plus, at any time, if more than two violations of the conditions occur, the County Manager can order the restaurant to immediately cease live entertainment until the Board re-examines the permit.

The Arlington Height Civic Association has stood firm in its opposition to allowing Pines of Italy to host live entertainment, based on more than a decade of trouble with owners and clientele. At April’s Board meeting, neighbors reported fearing for themselves and their children due to extremely drunk patrons stumbling through surrounding residential areas, destroying property and starting bloody fights.

Although three applicants are listed on the permit request, one of them has been involved with the property since he purchased it in 1999 when it was Coco’s. In 2001, the County Board revoked Coco’s entertainment permit because of excessive police issues, and a new one was granted in 2002. Problems have arisen off and on since that time, with the peak coming in 2011 when the property was known as Padrinos.

Due to the owners agreeing to the conditions laid out in the staff report, county staff members recommend the County Board approves the entertainment permit for Pines of Italy.

  • Cakes

    Kinda begs the question: Does anyone go? I’ve never seen a patron, let alone a crowd.

    • novasteve

      I think they have a soccer crowd, saw some signs for it outside as I walked by a few months ago.

  • Nag

    easy to solve the problem, start a food truck!

  • Dezlboy

    I suspect Pines of Italy will revert to their old ways of being a bane to the community. There have been no complaints in the last five months because they haven’t had live entertainment and (i think also) no dancing. When the “restaurant” is able to expand their services, likely the problems will return.

    • Listen to this guy. White people can dance in Cleardon and have live entertainment. Brown people in South Arlington, can not be allowed to dance or listen to music. What time is the Klan meeting tonight?

      • Dezlboy

        How you every come up wtih your reply based on my posting is beyond me. I’m all ears.

      • Josh S

        There are no differences in those two examples other than the skin color of the patrons. Nope. None at all. Skin color is the ONLY possible explanation for a difference in approach. Yep. ONLY possible explanation.

  • Bob Donovan

    They should bulldoze that entire block.

    • Mary-Austin

      They will eventually. One day it will be vibrant (gym/bar/cupcake shop).

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Don’t forget the burger/froyo places!

        • Don’t Leave Out….

          …..and blackbox theater.

  • Arlingtony

    The article doesn’t mention what type of live entertainment, but I am assuming we’re talking about lilting arias, charming violin serenades, and le canzoni dell’amore for The Pines of Italy patrons.

    • A Male

      If it’s strippers, I plan to go.

      • Richrd Cranium

        Bring back the Arlington Grill!

        Oh, wait – on second thought, don’t.

  • Coraline

    I am pretty new to the neighborhood, but I never see anyone in this place. My friend and I went in at lunch time the other day and there was no one there, and the place smelled so awful that we could not bring ourselves to eat there. I don’t understand what the poster is saying about the ethnicity of the clientele because when nobody’s there, then there is no freakin ethnicity. I imagine they will be trying to get people in and those people will not be there for food. They will be there to drink. Not a great idea.

    • chipotle_addict

      sounds like a job for Chef Ramsey!

  • Bogie

    Back when it was Coco’s it was the “Rick’s Café Américain” of Columbia Pike…..


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