The Vig is a Bad Bet

Vigorish, or simply the vig, also known as juice, the cut or the take, is the amount charged by a bookmaker, or bookie, for his services [Wikipedia].

This article appeared in the Scottsdale Republic today. The sales pitch to the Development Review Board for The Vig sound remarkably similar to those espoused for The Mint in Scottsdale’s bar district, just across Camelback from Scottsdale’s historic Villa Monterrey neighborhood.

In the case of The Mint, Randy Grant (who is now the head of Scottsdale’s planning department, but was representing The Mint) made the straight-faced argument that it was to be a restaurant, and emphatically NOT a bar. Obviously time and history of noise complaints have proven the opposite.

Here’s the entire Republic article:

Development Review Board OKs Vig plan despite foes

By Edward Gately, The Republic |

Despite opposition from numerous homeowners in Scottsdale’s McCormick Ranch, a design review panel gave the go-ahead Thursday to the Vig, a restau­rant-bar, to open its newest location in their community.

With a 4-2 vote, the Development Re­view Board approved the site plan, build­ing elevations and landscape plan for the restaurant/bar. The venue will open on a 1.2-acre site at 7345 N. Via Paseo Del Sur, in the Paseo Village commercial center.

City Council member and board Chairwoman Linda Milhaven voted for approval, along with members Jay Pet­kunas, David Gulino and Kevin Bollin­ger. Eric Gerster and Ali Fakih voted no. Vice Chairman Chris Jones was absent.

Steve Venker, the city’s planning and design services manager, said no other citizen-board approvals are needed for the project.

No conditional-use permit is needed because a restaurant use is permitted under the current zoning, he said. A con­ditional-use permit would be needed for live entertainment, but that is not part of the proposal, he said.

The Vig currently has two locations, at 4041 N. 40th St. in Arcadia and 6015 N. 16th St. in Phoenix. It is opening an­other location in downtown Phoenix.

On its website, the Vig is described as a “fun, friendly, upscale neighborhood tavern that appeals to any and all,” with outdoor patio, music and bocce ball.

Deb Sydenham, a McCormick Ranch homeowner, was the only resident who spoke in support of the Vig. She said the Vig is a “very upscale and professionally run establishment” that will be appropri­ate for professional and business meet­ings.

In addition, the board was told that the comments received prior to meeting were 10 to 1 in favor of opening the Vig at this location in McCormick Ranch, north of Indian Bend Road and west of the Pi­ma Freeway.

Steven Haney, an engineer with Kim­berly Horn & Associations, spoke for the Vig. He said not only does the proposal adhere to the previously approved site plan for the acreage, but also provides more buffers to protect nearby homes.

There will be a higher screening wall and more landscaping around the out­door patio, and the previously approved plan includes rear parking, he said.

Despite assurances that the Vig will be an upscale restaurant, several home­owners said it will be a bar with intoxi­cated patrons, loud noise and other dis­turbances in the early-morning hours.

Tina McEown said she and her sister own a home on the street behind the site, and their mother purchased the home because it has always been a quiet neigh­borhood. She also said Paseo Village has always been confined to businesses that operate during the day.

“Had it been a family eatery, bistro or buffet, we would have been delighted,” she said. “But this is a bar … with (rear) parking that backs up to our homes. Al­cohol will be served until 2 a.m. and con­sumed until 2:30 a.m. McCormick Ranch is a peaceful community. Property val­ues will plummet.”

Valerie Holmes, another homeowner, said the Vig is “a great concept for anoth­er area,” and it’s a “bar with food.” She also pointed out the Vig’s website promi­nently features the term “Vigfaced,” re­ferring to inebriated patrons on the premises.

“This is the brand,” she said. “It’s a great party place, just not in our neigh­borhood.”

[Update: Additional quotes from Valerie appeared in the the AZCentral version of the article:

Valerie Holmes, a McCormick Ranch homeowner, said 50 homeowners have signed a petition in opposition and “we’re just getting started.”

“This thing is a major nightclub and doesn’t belong in our neighborhood,” she said. “I visited one of the other locations this week, and walked out thinking not in my quiet little neighborhood. If we have to take it to the next level, fine. We are going to fight this thing until we have to lie down in front of the bulldozers.”

Homeowners were led to believe that a neighborhood market would be opening at the location, but that never materialized, Holmes said. They would “love a little restaurant or bistro, but this is a nightclub,” and there are many other locations more suitable for it, she said.

“We’re going to rattle the cages, this is not going to happen,” she said. “If we have to get an injunction, we’re going to do it. Why do they need to invade a peaceful neighborhood?”

McCormick Ranch was developed as Scottsdale’s first master-planned community from 1972 through the 1990s. It includes more than 3,100 acres with 8,900 homes, condominiums and apartments, and about 27,000 residents.]

Nancy Hatfield, another homeowner, read patrons’ online comments, with one saying “you have to really yell to talk,” and another saying “on Friday nights the noise is brutal.”

“We need these places, just not inside (a community) with retirees and young­er people trying to sleep,” she said.

Venker said the issue of whether the Vig is a restaurant or a bar isn’t within the board’s purview because that is a “use issue.” Instead, its role is only to consider design elements of a project.

[Note: I disagree vigorously with this statement, as I have many times in the past. From Scottsdale City Ordinance 3987–the ‘enabling ordinance’ for the DRB–the purview of that body is much broader: Sec. 1.901. Purpose. The purpose of the Development Review Board is to review all aspects of a proposed development including, but not limited to, site planning and the relationship of the development to the surrounding environment and the community. The Development Review Board recognizes the interdependence of land values, aesthetics and good site planning, for it is a well-known fact that Scottsdale’s economic and environmental well-being depends a great deal upon the distinctive character and natural attractiveness which contribute substantially to its potential as a recreational resort area and regional trade center. Development review is intended to enrich the lives of all the citizens of Scottsdale by promoting harmonious, safe, attractive and compatible development, and is therefore considered to be in furtherance of public health, safety and general welfare.]

Gerster said he is opposed to allowing rear parking that “invites people who are drinking to come behind it,” and the land­scape plan could be improved to provide more of a buffer for neighbors on the southeast side of the site.

Fakih said he wouldn’t support the proposal because of neighbors’ continu­ing concerns.

Bollinger said the proposal is a “much better design” than was previously ap­proved, while Gulino said he likes the site plan and has no problem with allow­ing rear parking.

Holmes said the homeowners aren’t finished fighting and hope to take the use issue to the City Council.

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  1. ever since The Tango closed, we are in desperate need for The Vig. HOMEOWNERS NEED TO GET OUT OF THEIR HOMES AND HAVE FUN.

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