Parts of new Memphis bar 'Railgarten' closed by code enforcement - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parts of new Memphis bar 'Railgarten' closed by code enforcement

Shipping container used as decor at Railgarten. (Source: WMC Action News 5) Shipping container used as decor at Railgarten. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Parts of a new Memphis restaurant and bar have been closed due to possible code violations.

Railgarten opened in early April in the Cooper-Young area. The business has a restaurant, bar, outdoor entertainment space, and ping pong tables. 

However, Memphis Code Enforcement said certain decor in the bar is illegal. Specifically, Code Enforcement said the shipping containers used in the outdoor area are illegal.

The Tiki Bar and Ping Pong Bar portions of Railgarten are currently closed. 

According to Railgarten Partner  Martha Hample, the business passed fire and health inspections, and the business felt it was safe to open other portions of the business. 

Railgarten expects to re-open all aspects of the Cooper-Young area business Wednesday 

Railgarten defended its use of shipping containers by saying, "we feel is an important part of the overall design aesthetic of Railgarten. The containers reinforce the physical connection to the neighboring rail line, importance of transportation to the neighborhood, and offer outlets for local visual and musical artists."

Railgarten also said its legal counsel believes where the business is located is in fact zoned in a way that the shipping containers are legal.

Railgarten has a hearing scheduled for April 26.

On Thursday, Railgarten released the following statement: 

Use of Shipping Containers

There has been some confusion regarding the use of shipping containers, which we feel is an important part of the overall design aesthetic of Railgarten. The containers reinforce the physical connection to the neighboring rail line, importance of transportation to the neighborhood, and offer outlets for local visual and musical artists.

Our legal counsel and land use consultant advised us the land is zoned for light industrial use; one of the few zoning categories where the use of shipping containers and outdoor entertainment is allowed by right. This zoning was primary in our consideration and selection of the Railgarten site.

Recently, the Office of Planning and Development (OPD) informed us of their differing interpretation of the Unified Development Code. At the request of the OPD, on April 26 we are appearing before the Board of Adjustment to memorialize our use of the shipping containers and the outdoor space along the railroad tracks at the rear of the Railgarten property.
 

Customer Parking

Railgarten is excited to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the Cooper Young neighborhood with the addition of a great space for locals and visitors alike to meet and socialize. Following the overwhelming turnout of our opening weekend we simply had more customers than available parking. We’re working with area businesses to lease additional parking lots and have contracted a private security company to assure our visitors are safe and the neighborhood clean. Additionally, we’re encouraging customers to utilize public transportation, bikes, and ride sharing services such as Uber or Lyft.

With the revitalization of any area come growing pains, but we believe in the long run, the benefits we’re bringing to the neighborhood will surpass these temporary hurdles.

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