Outdoor restaurant/bar permit granted

HIGH STREET HANGOUT—Landowner Jeff Brodsly’s hopes to bring an alfresco dining and gathering hotspot to Moorpark’s iconic High Street are one step closer to reality, having received approval from a conditional use permit from the planning commission. Courtesy of Studio Antares

Jeff Brodsly hopes to bring action to the High Street of Moorpark with a new bar/restaurant he calls The District on High.

He bought the land at 313 High St. a few years ago. He thinks the spot, tucked behind Bobas Cuz Restaurant and Luna Llena, is perfect for an outdoor dining and family gathering experience. Inspiration for the concept struck after spending some time in Colorado.

Brodsly, owner and developer of the property, thinks a bustling outdoor dining establishment would work perfectly in the town center of Moorpark while still respecting the historic charm of the street.

“There was a similar project I saw in Colorado, and I couldn’t get it out of my head,” he said. “I had this idea of ​​an outdoor gathering space with a bunch of different food and drink vendors, for all ages.”

The proposed 15,000 square foot site would spill over into the existing parking lot. The restaurant will feature a circular bar with seating and an outdoor patio next to the bar. Three food stations would be located at the rear of the site and, under the current proposal, would serve food and non-alcoholic beverages. Only the outdoor bar will serve alcohol.

In order to test the concept, Brodsly, a member of the city’s planning commission since March 2021, last year organized two events dubbed High Street Eats. The events were a success, he said, and above all proved that there was a desire for such a project at Moorpark.

“Events . . . cemented our vision to move forward and make this dream a reality,” the developer said.

The District on High project was presented to the Moorpark Planning Commission on October 25, and members approved a conditional use permit by a vote of 4 to 0. Brodsly withdrew from the vote.

The permit is required to allow a restaurant to open if it is within 100 feet of residential properties.

Although the High Street is part of the city’s downtown area, the restaurant will have to comply with noise ordinances, including limiting amplified music to certain hours. City staff reported that surrounding businesses raised no objections to the proposed restaurant.

According to city staff, various types of outdoor entertainment and private events could also be held at the District on High. Suggested hours of operation are noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, noon to midnight Thursday, and noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Members of the public who provided feedback – all in writing – endorsed the proposed restaurant.

Community member Candice Yassini expressed her support in a letter to council and said her grandfather helped construct the buildings that currently house Bobas Cuz, Luna Llena and Famous Taco Bar Catering.

“I remember attending the High Street Eats events last year, and my daughter and I had so much fun. Seeing the community come together on the High Street was very special to us,” Yassini wrote. “Knowing that District on High will be a permanent gathering place, as opposed to the temporary High Street Eats event, is such a blessing for us!”

Former board member Ken Simons also had good things to say through written comments.

“Keeping our money in town, providing a mixed-use facility to congregate and adding another great addition to the High Street is exactly what we need,” Simons said. “I fully support this project and look forward to seeing the long-term vision of revitalizing the High Street come to fruition.”

Brodsly said opening The District on High would give him the opportunity to revive the nostalgic and fun High Street community spirit he experienced as a child.

“High Street has so much potential,” he said. “I was always thinking, ‘How can we bring back that enthusiasm for the residents?'”