Photo by Thomas Waymouth
Kevin Fowler’s proposal for a new restaurant facility along Cypress Creek was approved by the city of Wimberley’s Board of Adjustment after he made significant changes to the project to accommodate concerns voiced in the process.
“We are hoping to give the whole community a great outdoor space to enjoy Cypress Creek and have a great meal, a drink and keep it very family friendly,” Fowler said. “I just want people to enjoy this beautiful piece of property along the creek that I don’t think we are utilizing fully right now. People can come out and see the bats fly and the nature and the huge cypress trees.”
The largest change to the project is that a new building will not be built directly along Cypress Creek. This was largely done to make sure there was not a negative impact to the patterns of flooding. Instead, the building closest to the creek in The Quarter, which currently houses Casa Vindemia, will be turned into the kitchen and indoor area. Instead of a building along the creek, a covered patio will be built.
There were also concerns about how building close to the creek could have a negative impact on the environment. Fowler reached out to the Meadow’s Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State, which came up with an idea that seemed to help everyone involved.
The Meadow’s Center shepherd the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan, and has had grant money available for a project in the Wimberley Square that would improve water quality in the creek. The center has had trouble finding an appropriate location for such a project.
Once the city’s sewer system is online, the septic tank for The Quarter will be decommissioned and the city was supposed to pave over the area for parking. Instead, the Meadow’s Center will use grant money, along with some cash from Fowler, to place permeable “pavers.” The pavers allow the area to be used for parking or sidewalks while also allowing runoff to soak into the ground and filter before it enters the creek. Based on research from the Meadow’s Center, the new project will be more environmentally friendly than the previously proposed projects the center had hoped for.
“I applaud you for coming up with what I think is a very reasonable proposal and for what I think will be an improvement,” Scott Way, who is on the city’s Board of Adjustments, said.
The restaurant will be owned by Michael MeKuly, the owner of Community Pizza and Beer Garden. Right now, he isn’t sure exactly what the concept will be for the restaurant.
“Now the hard work begins,” MeKuly said. “We have to figure out the look and feel of the building, the flow of it and what the best concept is. Unfortunately in this business you can never say ‘I want to do a sports bar there.’ You have to go in and feel out what it wants to be. I just really hope it’s a spot the community can enjoy more than anything else. The community is lacking in great eating establishments that allow you to see the scenery. We do have Ino’z, which has great scenery. Why not have one more?”
The board unanimously approved the variances requested by Fowler to allow the structure to be built.
Fowler said that he hopes the restaurant will be open in spring or summer of 2019.