Historic preservation rules hindering restaurant? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Historic preservation rules hindering restaurant?

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

The owners of a Thomasville restaurant say historic preservation rules are holding them back.

They're proud to be located in the old train depot which is an historical landmark.

However, the designation limits the signage allowed at the building and the owners say that limits their business.

It's business as usual at Someplace Else Café and Depot Garden Lounge located at 420 West Jackson Street, but owners worry that customers won't be able to find the restaurant.

"Very few people actually know that we are open, we sit back so far off of the highway that just putting a little open sign is not adequate, and we cannot put a sign on the building because it is a historical building," said owner Suzan Hayward.

it's a battle that Suzan Hayward worries she won't win. She says the city is considering changing the sign ordinance, but the changes won't help her.

"They are rewriting the ordinance but that will not include me because I have a historical building, so LED lights will not be allowed," said Hayward.

Visitors to Someplace Else Café even have the chance to sit where travelers waited to catch a train in the early 1900's.

Restaurant employees hope that a solution is found soon so that the entertainment hub can draw an even bigger crowd.

"We're not just a restaurant, we have an outside bar, an inside bar, we have venues and rooms for catering events so we're not just a restaurant, we're so much more to the community," said Vice President Tommy Rogers.

They say it's frustrating because no matter how much they publicize the restaurant the lack of signage makes it difficult to find.

"It's difficult because even though you get fliers and stuff out, people come from Tallahassee, Camilla, Quitman and all around the surrounding counties, it's not just the local communities that come but it's so difficult for them to find us," said Rogers.

The folks at Some Place Else intend to keep fighting to make sure their restaurant succeeds.

The city is working with the restaurant to reach a solution that works for the business, and stays within the historical preservation guidelines, both hope that a solution will be reached soon.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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