The council and the city Planning Commission had both approved the plan four years ago, but the developers held back on the restaurant plan due to a weak economy. Now, both the Planning Commission and the council have approved extending that permit until 2013.
Aprad Nagy, the developer, plans to build a basement just off Vineyard Avenue and west of Ruby Hill Drive to accommodate the French Tudor-styled sales building, which will then be lifted up and moved over to the top of the basement.
Once open, the new Liliom Restaurant will open to the public serving, as Nagy put it, cuisine "that will take you from the Italian Riviera to the shores of the Danube to the coast of California." Nestled in the wine country, the restaurant will specialize in a large inventory of local and French wines.
In a presentation to the Planning Commission, the restaurant developers said that more and more people are interested in visiting the Livermore Valley wine region and the Vineyard corridor has become part of this popular tourist destination.
Adding to the popularity of the Casa Real and Mitchell Katz wineries and event centers, the new Liliom Restaurant will have similar features. Nagy proposes to host daily private functions at the restaurant. These may include wedding, corporate events and more.
City planners, in recommending that the council extend the Nagy petition, said the restaurant would be open for dining in the evenings only starting at 6 p.m. and closing at 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
In order to offset any scheduling conflicts or potential impacts to Ruby Hill residents, private and corporate social functions would take place only during the restaurant's non-dining hours.
The Ruby Hill sales office was built by Signature Properties in 1994 as part of that developer's construction of homes in Ruby Hill, which started in 1993. Now part of the South Livermore Valley Area Plan, it will occupy a 2.5-acre parcel that is allowed under the grape production conservation easement. The only change proposed to the building is a 382-square-foot addition on the second floor to be used for additional kitchen and staff facilities.
A new driveway will be added off Vineyard for exclusive use of restaurant patrons, with a 100-vehicle parking lot wrapping around the building.
Although no one appeared at the council meeting to comment on the restaurant plan, city staff received five comments from Ruby Hill residents who expressed concern over possible increases in noise and traffic once the restaurant opens.
No opening date has yet been given for the restaurant, although city planners expect work to get under way in 2012.