City council approves rezoning of future downtown restaurant

Bill's Lawn Mower Shop's former digs will soon be transformed into Ruby's Texas Bistro. DONNIE BRYANT/E-T

It seems the culinary revitalization of downtown Stephenville is still ongoing with yet another restaurant planned to join forces with Fuzzy's Taco Shop, Simply Delicious and the recently opened 1015 Grill.

Request for rezoning of property located at 211 West McNeill Street from DT “Downtown District” to B-5, “Restaurant-Alcoholic Beverage Service District” was made by prospective restaurant owners Carl and Ruby Sturmer of the upcoming Ruby's Texas Bistro. The appeal was made in an open forum at last night's city council meeting.

Stephenville Police Chief Pat Bridges was asked if he anticipated trouble if a permit to sell alcohol was allowed at the bistro.

“No more than any other place,” he said. “And this is a different clientele going to a restaurant rather than a bar.”

Councilman Alan Nix asked if the restaurant's spokesperson, Carl Sturmer, felt it necessary to sell alcohol in order to be successful.

“It would keep us competitive,” Sturmer answered.

Councilman Doug Svien wondered what the Sturmers were doing in order to convert the old lawn mower repair shop into an eatery.

“We have to meet the permit requirements of the city,” Sturmer assured the council. “We will completely clean it up. Our place will be a great asset to the downtown area. Yes, it was a lawn mower repair shop at one time, but we are getting that atmosphere out of there.”

There was no public rebuttal and the motion to approve the rezoning request was passed with one dissenting vote by Councilman Nix.

City council also hosted a public hearing for the proposed tax rate for 2012 as well as examining other considerations. More information on these will be reported in Thursday's edition of the E-T.