Clubbing on University 

City Hall is buzzing about plans for a night club in the sagging, nearly defunct University Mall, once a premier retail center.

Bryan Stewart has applied for a private club alcohol permit for Envy Restaurant and Lounge in the 13,000 square feet formerly occupied by Osco. Stewart, who has a lease with mall manager Simon Property, wants alcohol sales until 5 a.m. for a club with live music, karaoke, dancing and food service. The application would transfer an inactive permit for a club that once operated at 119 Main Street, but which Stewart says has no connection to the new venture.

Stewart, a former sales manager for Power 92 and Hot 96.5, stations with hip-hop and R&B formats, has a permit hearing scheduled for late June. He hopes to open by July 1.

Simon Property has insisted in a lawsuit by owners of land beneath the mall that it is serious about restoring the property. A federal judge has bought Simon’s argument in part, and given it time for some repair work. That trial is currently in recess.

A number of city officials don’t think a night club is in keeping with Simon’s promises or city hopes for revitalization of University Avenue, where a high-rent shopping center is under construction nearby. Simon, they note, also continues to renege on its promise to pay $25,000 toward an Urban Land Institute study of the University commercial strip.

Stewart sees his club as a plus. “I think that it will bring a lot of entertainment dollars to the city. It’s going to be a good, safe, nice place for people to be.” He said there will be a weekend brunch, among other food service. He initially told us entertainment would be “R&B and hip-hop,” then amended that to omit hip-hop. “It will be old school, jazz, R&B and blues,” he said.

Back to the drawing board

A recent magazine advertisement for Summit Heights, a Moses Tucker-proposed real estate development in the Capitol View neighborhood, has provoked an unhappy reaction from neighbors.

“Almost a year ago, the city approved Moses Tucker’s plan to build some nice condos on our street, directly across from 318 N. Summit,” one resident wrote in an email to city planning official Dana Carney. “The city approved the material, the roofs and the overall look of the units to semi-blend in with the ‘Craftsman’ architecture on our street. This morning my neighbor sent me the attached photo from a local magazine advertising the project ‘Summit Heights’ ... . Mr. Carney, this in NO WAY even resembles what was approved. This looks as if ‘George Jetson’ lives here!!”

City planning and development director Tony Bozynski says that while “it is hard to tell from just a rendering ... it appears it doesn’t have some of the elements or materials that were part of their approval.”

Bozynski says he has requested a meeting with Moses Tucker representatives to review the design. If the revisions are significant enough, the entire project would have to go back through the city approval process.


Sign up for the Daily Update email


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Where's the outrage?

    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Most Viewed

  • Judge restores right to medication abortion

    For more than two weeks, all women in Arkansas, and Arkansas alone, were denied access to a two-pill regimen to end an early pregnancy in the privacy of their homes. But Monday, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the law, Act 577 of 2015, and Arkansas women once again had access to a method of abortion available nationwide.
  • Cotton says immigrant children used by criminals

    Former senator sentenced to 18 months in federal prison
  • Health care exec put on leave

    Matches description of anonymous person described in Cranford guilty plea agreement.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Ethics

    • The size of the Cahones on Dismang must me awe inspiring. Has the nerve to…

    • on June 21, 2018
  • Re: First, get a job

    • All this takes me back to old times. Asa, Saline County, Kirk Lane , Dan…

    • on June 20, 2018
  • Re: Title bout

    • Most vile cartoon!

    • on June 19, 2018

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation