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Patio sought by pub in Funkstown debated

July 13, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

FUNKSTOWN -- Another Funkstown resident expressed concerns during Monday night's Funkstown Town Council meeting about plans for an enclosed outdoor patio at Joker's Pub & Grill.

Referring to it as a sidewalk expansion, Douglas Arnall told town officials he wasn't saying he was opposed to Joker's plans, but that he had concerns.

Arnall said he lives across the street from Joker's, which is at the corner of West Baltimore and Antietam streets.

As a property owner, Arnall said he has an interest in seeing Funkstown grow, but he had concerns about the maintenance of Joker's property and the garbage collection.

Brian Binkley, Joker's manager, said Tuesday that the business' trash bin is big enough to handle the trash Joker's accumulates for its pickup, which is every two weeks. However, there are other people dumping trash in the bin so some trash bags are set beside the bin for a day or two until the bin is emptied, he said. Binkley said he knows people are dumping trash in the bin because he's seen that trash and it didn't come from Joker's.

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Josette and John Gustavus, who own Joker's, have spent a lot of money to fix up Joker's and the three townhouses behind Joker's, along Antietam Street, Binkley said. It's a slow process, but they are committed to making the corner better than it was before, he said. The couple bought the bar last fall.

Binkley said the planned deck for Joker's would tie into the backyard behind the townhouses, where the main part of the deck would be.

The Gustavuses are trying to make the entire area clean and respectable, Binkley said. Anyone who doubts that should go into the bar and see the changes the couple made to the interior, he said.

Arnall inquired as to the status of Joker's request at Monday's meeting.

The issue first arose in early June when Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said Joker's needed an easement from the town for a 6-foot privacy fence at the business.

Town officials said C. Richard Grimm, the town's zoning administrator, had forwarded Joker's request to the fire marshal and Washington County liquor board for approval.

Town attorney Robert Kuczynski said he thinks the matter would have to return to the council for final approval. Strings would be attached, he said. Those strings might include details about maintenance of the property and how the easement can be revoked, he said.

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