Brooklyn Center Rejects Jambo Africa Restaurant’s Plans To Relocate
The Brooklyn Center City Council changed course at its most recent meeting by rejecting plans for an African restaurant to move 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 out of the same building.
In October, the council moved forward with initial discussions to allow the move, although the decision was not unanimous.
The council reversed its decision on Nov. 13, voting 3-1 to reject the proposal.
“I do appreciate the concept that you’re doing,” said Brooklyn Center City Council Member Teneshia Kragness. “I’m just hoping that perhaps you can find a better location.”
Brooklyn Center City Council Member Marquita Butler cast the only vote to approve the project, while Mayor April Graves was absent.
According to city planning officials, the new location does not meet city code requirements for parking spaces. The parking lot was 59 spaces short of the code requirement.
Council members said they were concerned about setting a precedent if they allowed the restaurant a variance from city code.
“I’m not in favor of carve-outs, and the precedent this could set as I stated earlier, has long-range effects, and it opens up kind of Pandora’s box,” said Brooklyn Center City Council Member Dan Jerzak. “They’re already starting out 59 spaces short, and a thriving business, particularly in a nightclub atmosphere, is going to need every space.”
Jerzak had previously abstained from voting on the project due to his previous role as a city inspector.