The change of use was recommended at the city’s planning and development committee meeting two weeks ago in a close 4-3 vote, with Councillor Bill Stewart the most vocal opponent of the change.
With Mayor David Boothman and councillors Elizabeth Re, Rod Willox and Jason Robbins absent from last week’s meeting, the change was approved unanimously.
Proponent Paul Squires said he was delighted with the outcome and intended to prove that his development was not going to be a ‘beer-barn’ style tavern, with $127,000 spent on planning and design and $400,000 on a refit of the kitchen.
‘I’m very happy, I think the right decision was made,’ he said.
‘The bar will be an upmarket, stylish lounge-type restaurant, and at this point that’s absent from the beachfront.
‘We want to create the sort of atmosphere where people want to get dressed up and come out and sit in a bar where they feel comfortable.’
Mr Squires said with quality developments starting to come to Scarborough and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority taking charge of the precinct, he could see Scarborough emulating other exciting urban areas.
‘The combination of existing and new venues should, I think, add some variety which will make Scarborough a destination for locals and for tourists,’ he said.
‘Choice, variety and really quality venues have been lacking from Scarborough for a very long time and it hasn’t enjoyed the patronage it deserves and hasn’t lived up to its reputation as an iconic destination.
‘I think things are really looking up for Scarborough.’