6:30 AMSunday November 19, 2023
The Brooklyn Center City Council reversed course at its latest meeting, rejecting plans to move an African restaurant to a new location.
Jambo Africa had plans to move its restaurant operations from its current location on Freeway Boulevard to the former Tires Plus location on John Martin Drive. The New King Buffet Chinese restaurant also operates in the same building.
In October, the council brought forward initial discussions to enable the moveeven if the decision was not unanimous.
The council reversed its decision on November 13, voting 3-1 to reject the proposal.
“I like the concept you’re proposing,” said Brooklyn Center City Council Member Teneshia Kragness. “I just hope maybe you can find a better location.”
Brooklyn Center City Council member Marquita Butler voted alone to approve the project, while Mayor April Graves was absent.
The new location does not meet city code requirements for parking spaces, according to city planning officials. The parking lot was 59 spaces short of code requirements.
Council members said they feared setting a precedent if they allowed the restaurant to deviate from city code.
“I’m not in favor of exclusions, and the precedent that it might set, as I said earlier, has long-term effects and opens up a sort of Pandora’s box,” said Dan Jerzak, a member of the Brooklyn Center City Council. “They are already 59 spaces short, and a thriving business, especially in a nightclub atmosphere, will need every space.”
Jerzak previously abstained from voting on the project due to his previous role as city inspector.