In another round of preserving what residents say is the safety and quiet of their neighborhood, Barron Park residents are again opposing a liquor license application by a Palo Alto restaurant along El Camino Real.
Two residents wrote to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) earlier this month to protest the proposed license at Chalateco, a Salvadoran restaurant, ABC spokesman John Carr said. The restaurant is undergoing renovations at 3850 El Camino Real and is the former location of a Taco Bell.
Residents have opposed a string of applications by restaurants and stores after what they say has been years of crime, noise and public drunkenness along their stretch of El Camino. Neighbors claim there are enough alcohol outlets in the area. The site is close to schools and the location is in the middle of a residential area.
Residents successfully opposed a liquor license proposed for the Maybell Avenue Walgreens in 2010. The store went against an agreement it made at the time it opened that it would not apply for a liquor permit.
In 2008, residents opposed a liquor license for the now-closed Ramen Club noodle restaurant at 3924 El Camino Real. They said they feared alcohol would bring the same problems they previously experienced when a bar-restaurant, Armando's, inhabited the location.
Armando's required a high level of police intervention in early-morning hours, John Benza, a Barron Park resident said in a March 5, 2008, letter to the city during the opposition. The restaurant and La Cumbre's, another nearby El Camino establishment, ultimately had their conditional-use permits revoked.
Ramen Club's owner accepted modified terms for serving alcohol and ultimately received the liquor license, but it later left the location.
Chalateco's permit isn't the only application currently under fire. Multiple residents are currently opposing a license application for E Wines and Liquors, which is located at 3870 El Camino Real. Ernie's Wines and Liquors was previously located there, but in November 2010, it moved to a strip mall just steps away -- the former home of A-1 Liquors.
E Wines, which opened in May, was granted an interim liquor permit, but due to residential opposition, ABC held a hearing on July 25 and 26. An administrative law judge could soon issue a decision. The director of the ABC then has 100 days to determine whether to adopt or not adopt the judge's decision, Carr said.
Chalateco's next step "would be to see if it can work out an agreement with the community and address residents' issues," Carr said.
"If the issues are not resolved, there would be a public hearing within 60 days," he said.
License applicant Leopoldo Martinez could not be reached for comment.