Cocktail lounge wins approval for downtown Hayward

HAYWARD — A cocktail bar with cabaret entertainment and a kitchen that serves pizza and snacks could soon take over a long-vacant downtown spot.

The Hayward City Council on Jan. 8 voted to let The 990 Lounge operate at the former site of a doughnut shop at B and Main streets.

The council rejected the club’s application in September because it didn’t plan to serve food, but gave developer Jay Baltazar and his business partner Vic Gill the option to return with revised plans.

Along with pizza, the menu is to include sliders, garlic cheese bread and a Mediterranean plate with items such as salami and hummus. Gimlets, mojitos and other cocktails also will be served, as well as beer on tap.

The business will be open from noon to 1:30 a.m. each day, with live entertainment — which can include dancing to music from a DJ — offered on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, according to Marcus Martinez, an assistant planner with the city.

“We want to make the city of Hayward the place to be,” Baltazar said. “When you think of going out in the Bay Area, you automatically think of San Jose, San Francisco or Oakland. We are here to change that. We are here to be the renaissance that the downtown needs.”

Baltazar said he and his business partner intend to spend $400,000 renovating the bar’s location, once the home of Gary’s Donuts until it closed in 2011. That will involve building a mezzanine and dance floor and installing a new restroom.

The building’s interior walls currently are stripped down to the studs.

Property owner Corrinne Zaracotas said several people approached her over the past few years about opening a business in the 2,363-square-foot space.

But until Baltazar and Gill, she said, no one seemed to be the right fit or had a solid business plan or the right financial backing.

She also wanted a tenant that made a long-term commitment.

City officials have sought to revitalize the neighborhood around B and Main streets since at least the last economic recession, including as an entertainment hub for downtown.

On the opposite corner from the proposed cocktail lounge is the renovated Green Shutter Hotel with 41 studios and one-bedroom apartments. The Hayward BART station is less than a half-mile away and a shuttle for California State University, East Bay, stops nearby.

Mayor Barbara Halliday and Councilman Al Mendall both voted against giving the lounge a conditional use permit, saying

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle

      

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