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Council approves completion of area restaurant fence

Monday, August 25, 2008

(Photo)
Mario Bros. Mexican Cuisine, 539 E. National Ave., Brazil, is being allowed to complete the fence in front of its building after the Common Council of Brazil approved the completion during its special meeting Monday. [Order this photo]
One business owner is being allowed to continue his attempt to beautify a portion of downtown Brazil.

Mario Martinez, owner of Mario Bros. Mexican Cuisine, presented the Common Council of the City of Brazil drawings and plans for a fenced-in outside dining area in a special meeting Monday afternoon.

"I would like to see this happen," Martinez said. "I want to do something nice for Brazil."

Martinez initially began constructing the fence last week, but was instructed to stop in order for the project to be reviewed.

"The fence looks great so far," Mayor Ann Bradshaw said. "However, our concern is that it needs to be done the proper way and make sure it follows the codes and ordinances."

Council Member Pat Heffner said she had received complaints about the fence taking up too much of the sidewalk's width. The council recently passed the first reading of a new sign ordinance that states that only 25 percent of the width may be used.

"We don't actually have an ordinance that is specifically for outside dining areas and fences," City Attorney Bob Pell said. "We have ordinances that could apply to this situation, like the ones for sidewalk improvements and obstructions.

According to Martinez, the fence takes up half of the 12-foot wide sidewalk.

"If I could only use 25 percent, it would only be 3 feet and I wouldn't be able to have tables out there," he said. "In order to be able to serve alcohol, I need to have a fence in place."

Council Member Brad Deal expressed concern about having certain stipulations for one group and making exceptions for others.

"It doesn't matter if it is a sign or a fence," he said. "I don't think it is right to tell one person they can only use 25 percent of the sidewalk for a certain part of the day and tell some one else they can block 50 percent of it permanently."

Martinez did have a city-issued permit for the construction of the fence, which is bolted to the ground, but the council has to approve such work before it begins.

"One of our other concerns is that the rest of the sidewalk is not in great shape," Council President Bill Lovett said. "We need to at least make sure that the sidewalk in the area is safe enough for people and wheelchairs to pass through."

Martinez said he has been in contact with contractors about patching up the sidewalk, but has yet to receive a response.

Ultimately, the council approved the project by a 3-1 vote with Deal voting against it and Council Member Sam Glover not in attendance.

The approval comes with the stipulation that a 6-foot clearance be maintained at all times, even when construction on the United States 40 project begins, of which Martinez did not present any objections.

"Even if the permit was given incorrectly, we have to maintain at least 6 feet of the sidewalk available to people walking or in wheelchairs, and we have that right now," Council Member Steve Lamb said.

"Depending on the construction on the US 40 project, the fence may have to come down during that time."

Martinez said his main objective is to help improve the look of the city.

This is my way of helping make the city look better," he said. "Brazil has the potential to be a really nice town."


Comments
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great job, Mario! can't wait to enjoy a great dinner and drinks outside!!

-- Posted by Becki on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 6:17 AM

Love it cant wait

-- Posted by kd323 on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 6:34 AM

This is the biggest load of BS I have heard yet. Why is it that they threw such a hissy fit about the other businesses in town having small sidewalk signs, but yet Mario can use up half the sidewalk so he can serve alcohol? He contradicts himself when he says he just wants to make Brazil look nice and also says he cant have tables where he can serve alcohol. It looks to me like he has a very large sitting area between the 2 buildings he owns. My understanding is that he started the construction and was halted before he got a permit to do any of it. Wonder if he got a permit to build his cooler out into half of the alleyway? If he really wants Brazil to look nicer then maybe he can paint that bright yellow building and get rid of the purple neon lights that the Double N that make it look like the Murphy Ave. Strip Club!

I will finish with this. Brad Deal you are the only only I will vote for next election. Way to hold all business owners to the same standards!

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 6:38 AM

Sounds like "Icareaboutbrazil" is just jealous of someone who came from another country to become a success. I think Mario Bros. is pretty much the best looking building in this otherwise dull, drab town.

From the looks of what he's done so far, it looks a lot nicer than the crappy signs they're not allowing. Mario has improved the look of downtown Brazil by a long shot, and continues to do so. Other business owners should be following his lead.

By the way, what's wrong with serving alcohol? There's nothing wrong with serving a legal beverage to a demanding public!

-- Posted by bsmom on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 6:53 AM

Good Lord! Icareaboutbrazil...... You need to get a hobby and leave Mario alone. He is trying and from what I can see making a difference in a town that so desperatly needs business. What are you doing to clean up this town?

-- Posted by sassypants on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 7:18 AM

First I want to say to Mario, the restaurant looks wonderful and I applaud his efforts.

Now about the fence, it doesn't seem right that a permanent structure that takes 50% of a public sidewalk is allowed and another business has taken all this grief over a movable sign.

I do not understand why people get personal and attack Mario in response to this issue. At the same time all businesses should be held to the same standard.

This isn't the businesses' fault, this is the city government's fault. I do not see a practice of common sense. They seem incapable to think outside box and solve a simple issue. This sign issue is simply embarrassing. They punish one business and yet let others put signs all over the place. Now they let another business permanently block 50% of the sidewalk. Come on guys - it's time to get practical. I know you can do it. Be fair to all. Here is a suggestion... pass new ordinances to keep up with current problems!!!

I have no problem with the fence as long as people can get around it. I have no problem with the signs as long as the laws are consistent and every business is treated fairly.

To our local government. It's time to get busy and stop being random in your decisions and fair to all. Stop using old ordinances as excuses for you to not handle current problems in a fair and practical way.

It's simple: Brazil needs all of its local businesses and they should be supported by our local government in a fair, consistent and supportive way.

-- Posted by localgal on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 8:06 AM

Some of you people need to get a life. I think it looks very nice. How nice would it be for visitors who travel US40 daily to see a nice resturant with people enjoying wonderful food outside. It might actaully make people want to stop and see what little Brazil has to offer! I think it will bring lots of charm to such a poor looking town. Outdoor eateries are becoming very popular everywhere. Very nice addition Mario. As for the Council...why is it so easy for you to just knock something! You always say you have "Complaints" coming in...from the same people Im sure! There are just some people you can never make happy! Its time to get Brazil into the 21st centry.

-- Posted by WhyInBrazil on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 8:49 AM

What I am getting out of all this is that the city council needs to step up and get a few things done. It is time to stop be selective in enforcing some ordinances and not others.

-- Posted by sassypants on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 10:00 AM

Sure "unoit," the alley would be a wonderful place for patrons to eat and enjoy themselves. Come on!

The point is, the fence will not be in the way of people getting around at all and it looks NICE. Maybe a movable sign isn't a big deal, but they do often look trashy.

How can anyone complain about the appearance of Mario's building compared to the majority of Brazil's other buildings?

A LOT of restaurants in other towns and cities that look much classier than Brazil have similar structures outside of their restaurants.

-- Posted by bsmom on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 11:52 AM

I'm very excited about the outside dining at Marios, for Brazil it was very overdue!

-- Posted by Six Foot Town on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 12:22 PM

I think unoit meant the alley between the buildings not behind the building

-- Posted by sassypants on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 12:38 PM

Not all sidewalks are as wide as the one downtown/US40. So, 25% of a sidewalk on one of our side streets is a lot....50% on one of these smaller/regular sidewalks would block public/wheelchairs access. If public access would have been blocked/inconvenienced due to this fence, the council members would not have approved it. They too, care about the looks of the city and are doing a good job.

I am sure that if you have a large sidewalk, such as in front of Mario Bros, you could request a variance to the sign ordinance if you needed one (and it was in good taste)

Why should you have to drive to another city to enjoy a nice place to eat. Great addition to Brazil.

-- Posted by BOYINBLUE on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 1:00 PM

A fence taking up half of one piece of sidewalk is nothing compared to 95% of every other sidewalk in Brazil that's cracked and missing and falling apart. You couldn't wheel a person in a wheelchair through Brazil if thier life depended on it.

-- Posted by Pro Se on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 1:13 PM

Since the alley between the buildings is now closed I would assume that this area is now legal for parking. So patrons will be allowed to sit 6 feet from a parked car and enjoy the veiw, give me a break, that is a joke. I would hope that parked cars, and proper access was taken into account by the council. Six feet of area with an open car door and one of our disabled, or elderly citizens attempting to pass safety in front of this fence should be a major concern. Mario has done a wonderful job and runs a fantasic business, I would venture to say the courtyard area he has added would have been more than adequate for his business needs.

-- Posted by logical on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 1:15 PM

Just what Brazil needs...a bunch of drunks sitting out in the middle of town causing problems. At least they will already be outside when police haul them off to jail.

-- Posted by th1953 on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 3:10 PM

You people are just a hoot! Nothing more entertaining than watching a bunch of back seat drivers, or maybe in this case a bunch of virtual business owners. The only thing that matters is that Mario wants to do it and its not a public safety hazzard. What business owners do with their business is their business, uh, well, you know what I mean. As long as it doesn't look really, really , REALLY bad (and I don't mean "taste" wise) and as long as nobody is going to get hurt, have at it. He owns it. You don't. Leave him the heck alone! That goes to the city council as well as all you whiners. Moronic sign statutes and idiot "taste" requirements are nothing but good old totalitarianism creeping into MY AMERICA. KEEP IT OUT! If you own something, you either own it or you don't. If you own it you can do what you want. If people don't like it they can stay the heck away!

-- Posted by TheRider on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 3:28 PM

I don't think that Mario's -- even with the sidewalk seating -- will be the source of most of Brazil's drunk and disorderly. The restaurant already serves alcohol, so whether it's in the building or two feet outside of it is really no concern.

Have you ever been to the BP gas station? Not too hard to find drunks and druggies hanging out in that area. At least the people at Mario's will be paying customers.

-- Posted by bsmom on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 4:36 PM

A bunch of drunks sitting in the middle of town, I don't think so. I believe that Mario has done an excellent job of building up his business. How many restaurants in Brazil have actually expanded as much as he has. The outside eating (or drinking) area adds a nice touch to main street.

-- Posted by sew&sew on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 5:12 PM

Brazil needs to step into the 21st century.The place looks nice and well kept ,even trendy for Brazil standards.The fence is probably not absolutely necessary unless due to alcohol license limitations.Some Bistro tables(yeah I said Bistro tables) with sunbrellas would serve just as well.Don't worry you'll still have your fried tenderloins and biscuits w/gravy served on formica when you want it too!A fried tenderloin wouldn't taste right served on anything elsa.Leave the super marios alone, they sem like smart businessmen.Who knows maybe an "Olive Garden will follow.

-- Posted by canicus13 on Tue, Aug 26, 2008, at 7:25 PM

Sorry, unoit, I thought you were referring to the same thing as Icareaboutbrazil, who said, "Wonder if he got a permit to build his cooler out into half of the alleyway?"

The point I was trying to make still should have been obvious. Why shouldn't Mario be able to expand his successful restaurant in a tasteful manner? It looks good, makes the town look a little more up-to-date, and provides a pleasant place for people to eat and (Heaven forbid) drink.

By the way, the only restaurants in this town where I would eat all serve alcohol. Who wants to go to the Sunshine Cafe or whatever it's called now?

-- Posted by bsmom on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 7:00 AM

All the ordinances should be the same for every business no special meetings to see if there is a way to bypass the law and give special consideration to certain ones . Put up a solid fence and keep your drinks behind it, I have heard it takes a village to raise a child, get my drift parents?

-- Posted by Blu8 on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 10:52 AM

Has it been stated anywhere that there will be alcohol served outside on the sidewalk? That is very progressive for such a close minded town that is upset about eatting on the street!!!

-- Posted by sassypants on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 1:34 PM

OK FIRST OF ALL TAKE A MINUTE AND LOOK AT THE PICTURE. PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIDEWALK CLOSEST TO US 40. THAT SIDEWALK IS IN TERRIBLE SHAPE. HAS THE CITY OF BRAZIL DONE ANYTHING TO FIX THAT SIDE WALK? NO! FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER THAT SIDEWALK HAS BEEN IN TERRIBLE SHAPE. MARIO IS GOING TO FIX THE TRASHY BRAZIL SIDEWALK. BUT NOBODY CARES.

LOOK AT THE BUILDING. THAT BUILDING IS THE NICEST BUILDING IN BRAZIL. THE REST OF THE TOWN LOOKS LIKE IT NEEDS TORE DOWN. BUT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY WOULD NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN BECAUSE IT IS TRASHY HISTORICAL BRAZIL. HECK GO DOWN TO THE INTERSECTION OF CHICAGO AND US 40 THAT BUILDING IS FALLING DOWN AND THERE IS CAUTION TAPE BLOCKING THE SIDEWALK. I GUESS YOU CAN SAY THAT SIDEWALK IS NOT 25 % OR 50 % SHUT DOWN IT IS 100% INPASSABLE. BUT NOBODY SAYS A WORD TO THE OWNER OF THE BUILDING, HECK MAYBE ORIDANCE COP VANNITTI NEEDS TO PAY A VISIT TO THAT BUILDING OWNER AND WRITE SOME TICKETS.

I READ THAT PEOPLE GET ON HERE AND BLOG STUFF LIKE GREAT GET A BUNCK OF DRUNKS DOWNTOWN, OUTSIDE CAUSING PROBLEMS. WELL NEXT TIME WHEN YOU DRIVE BY MARIO BROTHERS LOOK TO THE EAST A COUPLE OF BUILDINGS, MAKE SURE YOU OPEN YOUR EYES, BECAUSE THERE ARE TWO BARS RIGHT THERE. AND IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN BY THERE ON FRIDAY OR SATURDAY YOU WOULD SEE ABOUT 10-15 DRUNKS OUT ON THE SIDEWALK "BLOCKING THE SIDEWALK" IN THERE DRUNKEN STATE. BUT WE DONT CARE ABOUT THAT AND BY THE WAY MOST OF THE PEOPLE AT THOSE TO PLACES ARE NOT THERE TO EAT THEY ARE THERE TO DRINK. AT MARIO BROTHERS YOU CAN HAVE AN ADULT BEVERAGE WITH YOUR MEAL IF THAT IS YOUR PLEASURE NOT A DRUNKEN FEST.

LETS KEEP COMPLAINING ABOUT MARIO AND FREDDY WHEN THEY ARE THE ONLY BUSINESS PEOPLE IN THIS TOWN THAT IS TRYING TO MAKE BRAZIL A BETTER PLACE AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND TO ALL THE NEGATIVE PEOPLE ON HERE JUST DONT GO TO MARIO BROTHERS IF YOU DONT WANT TO THERE ARE SOME OTHER PLACES OUT OF BRAZIL YOU CAN GO TO AND STAY!

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 4:19 PM

Personally, I think that it is time that the Brazil community & City Council begin supporting the local businesses for all the improvements they are trying to accomplish in Brazil ~ let the business owners have their signs ~ I haven't seen any that are offensive in any manner & let Mario have his fence ~ I'd love to have the before & after photos in the Times to express all the improvements that Mario has made to his buildings ~ we beg for new businesses in Brazil & then try to block their every move with ancient ordinances ~ leniency is the key here ~ keep the current businesses & try to recruit new ones ~ Brazil needs to appear up & moving ~ we need to look appealing to visitors in our town ~ paint the fire hydrants (we just had a design contest) ~ hang banners on the lamp posts of upcoming events ~ install brightly colored trash receptacles ~ maybe visitors will be more inclined to stay in our community ~ in our travels many communities are on an everyday mission to invite visitors to stay or return soon ~ maybe our City Council should venture out to Crawfordsville ~ that town is always advertising something with banners on the lamp posts on all major thorough fares ~ business window fronts are almost always painted with upcoming events or in support of their many organizations ~ let's try being positive about our community ~ everyone wants a change in Brazil ~ let's do it !! Business owners that are willing to invest their time & money to improve their business in a positive manner should be given the green light ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 8:49 PM

Way to go Brad Deal vote against a good change in Brazil! I was suprised that you were voted in to office anyway well it helps when Jim Sheese wasnt able to run because of the mayors race!

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 1:41 AM

Ok, first of all I need to explain that I could care less if Mario is from another country. Second, I could care less if he serves alcohol inside or out. My problem is with the City Council approving a fenced in area that takes half the sidewalk for outside tables for anything. And personally I wouldnt have a problem with that if they were fair with every other business in town. Please tell me how Baker Bob took up that much room or looked trashy. Please tell me how the the Olde Time Jewelry Stores small sign (that she has been forced to move up against the building so you can barely see it) looked trashy. Tell me how Pappy's Bar-b-Que sidewalk sign looked tacky. He has since put up a sign 20 feet up in the air and at first got resistance for that because it was 2 feet wide instead of 1 foot wide. Also all the businesses in town that make a revenue off letting others place signs on the sides of their buildings. These businesses at one time were told to take them down immediately or face $100.00 a day fine. I guess what is one persons idea of attractive is not always the same and the next, but I do know that those tastefully painted (for the most part) signs at SR59 & US 40 are not as tacky as a bright yellow building with red trim.

As far as what have I done to improve Brazil? I am a business owner in this town and did take an old building and restore it. I just resent that what is fair for some is not fair for others.

As far as the cooler in the alley! The refrigerated cooler that he has built on the back of his building does sit on city property. He owns the property to the east and it could have been built there with no problems. I still think that he has plenty of room in the area between the buildings to place tables if the city should decide to play fair. If not then they need to lay off the other businesses that PAY taxes and are trying to improve Brazil and find some other important ordinances to enforce.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 8:37 AM

Personally I love the outside of Marios and would love an outdoor eating area. Anyway sometimes i wonder if the city has gotten discouraged with fixing the sidewalks because some of the people they started fixing them for still ride on their wheelchairs and scooters in the middle of the road. They poured out a lot of money to fix some of those sidewalks and they are'nt being used for what they were supposed to be.

-- Posted by piper08 on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 3:55 PM

good job brad deal . people always complain about some being treated better than others . but when someone stands up and feels everyone should be treated as equals , people don't like that either . at least you looked at it as , what is fair for one should be fair for all .

-- Posted by BHin08 on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 9:40 PM

I wonder why this Icareaboutbrazil person is allowed to insinuate that Mario doesn't pay his taxes and the administrator won't remove his comment? Isn't that disrespectful and slanderous?

My previous, and true, comment about one of the businesses Icareaboutbrazil was defending was removed immediately.

-- Posted by bsmom on Fri, Aug 29, 2008, at 11:42 AM

I guess you just cant get your point across on here without someone reading more into it. I was not inferring that Mario does not pay taxes. I was inferring that all the businesses listed ALSO pay taxes and should be treated fairly. If you read more into it than that, well thats your priveledge.

Again, and the last time. This is not an attack on Mario. This is only to say that local government needs to be fair with ALL businesses, not just the ones (be it Mario or any other) that they choose to.

None of this was a comment on the sidewalk conditions. My understanding it that someday (if they ever get US40 redone) the sidewalks will be taken care of by the state. This is more the silly ordinances that are written, rewritten and sometimes enforced or not enforced, but the selection of who and how they are enforced.

I do agree that it seems silly that all the time and money that was spent on sidewalks appears to be a farce. You cannot drive down a road in Brazil that someone is not walking in the middle of the street.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Tue, Sep 2, 2008, at 8:36 AM

Mr Deal, I gotta say that my father supported you in the last election and now I must also, we should remember the old saying if its to good to be true it prob. is, when your nobody who notices, when you are somebody everybody notices. I didnt realize the restuarnant bussiness was so lucrative in a small town where most people arent noticed. Well the cash flow and influence of this bussiness is getting noticed......

-- Posted by SimpleIsBetter on Wed, Sep 3, 2008, at 11:02 AM

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 11:27 AM


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