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Berkley City Council Rejects Rezoning Of Restaurant Which Would Tear Down Homes

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The Vinsetta Garage. (WWJ/Jon Hewett)

The Vinsetta Garage. (WWJ/Jon Hewett)

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BERKLEY (WWJ) — Due to popular demand, one Berkley restaurant on Woodward Avenue is looking to expand and offer more parking for its patrons. But residents on Oxford Street have opposed the idea right from the beginning.

On Monday night, Berkley City Council voted with residents to reject the proposal to build a parking lot on the side street.

It was packed house at the meeting, as residents made their plea, not to allow Vinsetta Garage to tear down four houses on Oxford Street and it was the last chance for restaurant co-owner Curt Catallo to pitch his plans on the proposal.

“We’re committed to being in Berkley for the long-haul,” Catallo said. “And that’s really what we’re interested in, because we’ve made a substantial commitment to the community and we understand the passion of the residents as well.”

Vinsetta’s rezoning request has twice been rejected by the Berkley Planning Commission, after local residents came out en masse to protest.

“It’s an opportunity for us to kind of corral the flow of our guests the are pulling off Woodward Avenue,” Catallo said. “That is the goal, that’s why we made a substantial investment — because we’ve heard these complaints.”

Catallo’s gourmet burger joint is popular with auto buffs, especially collector-car motorists at the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Catallo gave one last pitch to the City Council on Monday before the vote was held.

“We’re in a unique position where we want to make sure the residents are happy and our guests are happy,” Catallo said. “We think that this parking lot, which would be well manicured, which would be landscaped, which would be adequately lit allows us to service the community by keeping our business off of Oxford.”

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