The Watkinsville City Council at its next meeting on Sept. 21 is to take up the business license application of Edward Grenvicz, who plans to operate a restaurant in what is commonly referred to as the Dolvin building facing Main Street in downtown Watkinsville.
Pour Bistro, according to the business license application, will be an “upscale restaurant” offering beer, wine and distilled spirits as well as food.
The sketch of Pour Bistro shows a patio dining area from which patrons will have a view of the Courthouse across the street and the historic Eagle Tavern next door.
Until Wednesday, the Dolvin building housed the Oconee County Planning Department and Code Enforcement Office. Late on Friday afternoon, staff of these county departments were trying to fit into smaller space at the Government Annex south of Watkinsville.
Oconee County on April 28, 2015, voted to terminate its lease for the two buildings across from the Courthouse that housed the Planning Department and Code Enforcement Office as well as the Coroner, a Sheriff’s office, and the Department of Environmental Health.
|Sketch Of New Restaurant|
The Board of Commissioner action last April was to give a one-year notice of intent to end the lease and to continue to use the building on a month-to-month basis.
Earlier this year, the property owner, 22 North Main LLC, informed the county that the county should vacate the property by the end of August.
Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis referenced that decision by the property owner and the $79,483 annual rent in his column on the move in The Oconee Enterprise last week, but he did not say that the county had terminated the lease. The column also is on the county web site.
The property had been owned by Elizabeth P. Dolvin, a prominent Oconee County landowner, who passed away in May of 2012.
Attorney Ray Burruss is listed as the representatiave of the 22 North Main LLC in the county tax records. Burruss also is one of two trustees of the Dolvin Foundation created to honor Ms. Dolvin.
The Board of Commissioners has been struggling without success to find a solution to the county’s space needs since at least 2009. Since the discussion of land acquisition and of Courthouse security takes place in executive session, little is known publicly of those discussions.
Much of the Courthouse itself is now being used for court offices and functions, leaving increasingly small amounts of space for non-court activities.
The Government Annex on SR 15 south of the city center cannot meet all of the county’s needs, and staff from the offices moved out of the Dolvin property were working on Friday to cram furniture and records into limited space.
The county already has rented two storage pods for the space behind the annex to store records.
Federal Offices And Athens Tech
|Annex On 9/2/2016|
The space problems at the Annex are exacerbated by a decision made by the Board of Commissioners in 2013 to lease about 15 percent of the space in the Annex to the United States Department of Agriculture.
The county actually spent about $33,000 renovating the space to suit USDA requirements. The lease is for 10 years.
At the BOC meeting last week, Chairman Davis asked that the county continue leasing space to Athens Technical College to allow it to hold Adult Education GED classes at the Annex.
Commissioners bulked, but Davis put the item on the agenda for further discussion tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
Pour Bistro will lease only the front and larger of the two buildings on the Dolvin property.
The restaurant will operate under the business name Pour Bistro Watkinsville LLC.
Grenvicz said on the business license application he is the sole officer of the corporation.
Grenvicz told me in an email message today that the Watkinsville Pour Bistro will be “a clone of my restaurant in Brookhaven/Atlanta.”
According to the application, the Watkinsville restaurant will have nine employees.