FWISD Doesn't Want Bar Across From School

Not in this neighborhood

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Annie Potasznik
    The fate Jack Tanner's Patio Grill will rest in court.

    The Fort Worth Independent School District will sue to stop Jack Tanner's Patio Grill from opening across the street from Young Women's Leadership Academy.

    Both the all-girls school and the restaurant are still under construction on West Magnolia Avenue.

    A city ordinance states any bar set to open near a school must have at least 300 feet in between it and the school.

    Restaurant Takes on Fort Worth School District

    [DFW] Restaurant Takes on Fort Worth School District
    A planned restaurant may not open on time because it's too close for comfort for FWISD.

    But the distance between Jack Tanner's and Young Women's Leadership Academy is less, and that's just one of the problems.

    "I just want to run a business," restaurant owner David Shaw said.

    He's transforming a rented space next to and including his wife's former restaurant, Scampi's Mediterranean Grill, into Jack Tanner's Patio Grill.

    "We are not a bar," he said. "We are a restaurant that has a bar area and an outdoor patio."

    Fort Worth ISD wants him to keep alcohol below 25 percent of his sales.

    "What do they want me to do when I get up to 25 percent, and say, oh, I can't serve any more alcohol? You can't do that," Shaw said.

    "We have suggested that perhaps if it doesn't open until 5 o'clock, after the school is closed," Clint Bond, a spokesperson for Fort Worth ISD, said.

    "No way," said Shaw. He made plans for his restaurant when the building across the street was an adult education center. Only after he obtained his liquor license did he receive word the school district planned to turn the building into an all-girls school.

    "This is not an ideal place for a school, so they're the ones that are the outsiders in here, coming in and trying to prevent me and possibly other people from running a business," Shaw said.

    The school district said the city and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission shouldn't have approved a liquor license for Jack Tanner's.

    "We received our school number from the Texas Education Agency back last year in 2009 in December," Bond said. "And although the TEA said it's under construction, it's still a school."

    The district is leaving it up to the court to define what a school is.

    Despite what the sign outside Shaw's door says, Jack Tanner's may not open by summer. Shaw is waiting to see how the lawsuit will pan out. He has already spent about $10,000 to obtain the liquor license and start renovations and doesn't want to spend too much more until he knows what will happen.

    Fort Worth ISD says it is willing to compromise with Shaw, but Shaw said any compromise would hurt his business and he might as well not open at all.