The owners of Park's Edge restaurant say their eatery reflects their love of Atlanta and the Inman Park neighborhood they call home.
But residents near the Bernina Avenue restaurant say it has had them on edge for the last couple of years, citing what they say are perpetual problems at the establishment with valets blocking homeowners from parking on their own streets, to noise to other violations of city ordinances.
Those issues came up again Thursday at the Neighborhood Planning Unit-N meeting, Park's Edge chef, Jorge I. Pacheco and his business partner, Richard N. Wadlington, sought approval for a change of ownership.
Neighborhood Planning Units — NPUs — are citizen advisory councils that make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on zoning, land use, and other planning issues.
NPU-N includes the Inman Park, Candler Park, Reynoldstown, Poncey-Highland, Lake Claire and Druid Hills communities.
The NPU-N board unanimously voted 7-0 against approving the ownership change.
"We have had some issues with our valet parking and our liquor license and some of the neighbors' complaints," Pacheco said, adding those issues have all been addressed.
But Tom Berry, a homeowner on the same street said Park's Edge has been anything but a good neighbor.
When Park's edge opened three years ago, its liquor license application said it would have no live music, no valet parking and no smoking on the deck patio, he said.
"All three of those things were ignored after a while," Berry said.
"They’ve had illegal valet parking almost since they’ve opened up, cutting off the streets for restaurant parking only. I’ve had valets tell myself and other residents on the street we can't park in those particular areas."
Pacheco said the restaurant's original application in 2009 detailed it would have live music and that the valet parking complaints have been addressed.
He said both he and Wadlington have apologized to the neighborhood and that many of the problems could have been avoided if residents came to them directly.
But Berry noted in during the holidays, they erected a giant tent — without proper permits and liquor license — and didn't take it down despite residents' complaints it was illegal until the city said they had to.
"We believe their behavior won’t change; they’re being nice now because they want a liquor license," Berry said adding he believed the ownership change application is so that the past issues don't hinder the Mayor's Office from approving a new liquor license for Park's Edge.
"But they've shown us over the past three years how they behave and we don’t think anything is going to change."
The Inman Park Neighborhood Association came to the same conclusion last week. It's board members voted unanimously against approving the ownership change application.