New Globe Operator Pledges To Address Ongoing Issues With Berlin Historic District Commission

New Globe Operator Pledges To Address Ongoing Issues With Berlin Historic District Commission
The Globe operator Jon Lane is pictured with his team Thursday. File Photo

BERLIN– Town officials said this week they were eager to work with The Globe’s new operator to address ongoing issues at the historic building.

Last month, the HDC gave property owner Bryan Brushmiller 10 days to remove unauthorized additions he’d made to the building. While that hasn’t entirely happened, the facility’s new tenant told the Berlin Historic District Commission (HDC) he would be addressing their concerns going forward.

“We’re working on some plans I’m going to submit for the next meeting,” said Jon Lane, who is now leasing The Globe.

In February, HDC members were highly critical of unapproved changes made at the property by Brushmiller. As a result, the commission voted to give Brushmiller 10 days to remove the wall and roof section that had been added and said they wouldn’t approve any changes until he installed the fence along Gay Street that was approved several years ago.

While the wall was removed, the roof addition was not. Though not on the agenda, Lane approached the board this week to introduce himself and talk about plans for the restaurant. Lane, who previously operated Braddah Barney’s in West Ocean City, told the HDC he’d just taken over The Globe within the past month and had only taken over Tiki Tim’s, the small bar at the back of The Globe, three days ago. He said he was going to go through the necessary steps to address the commission’s concerns.

Nornie Bunting, HDC chair, told Lane the commission was eager to work with him but said plans for the structure would not be approved until the fence along Gay Street, which is meant to block the walk-in freezer, is installed.

He added that he could show Lane the fence plans that were initially approved about three years ago.

“That stipulation still rides, that this fence has to cover up that walk-in freezer,” he said.

Bunting said while the commission was willing to work with Lane on Tiki Tim’s the fence was a requirement.

“We were willing to work with Bryan,” Bunting said. “Come to us and we work with you. Don’t do it behind our backs because that’s when things get a little hairy.”

Commission member Carol Rose said the fence needed to be six feet high but didn’t need to be expensive, as it was a wooden fence. She said it had to be installed to neaten up the side of the building on Gay Street, which many people considered an eyesore.

“I think when you see it, it really will look nice,” she said.

Lane agreed that side of the building could be cleaned up and that a fence would help. He added however that he was anxious to get the Tiki Tim’s situation addressed because the removal of the wall had left some of his equipment subject to cold temperatures. He asked if he could move forward with Tiki Tim’s before installing the fence.

Rose said the fence had to be done first.

“That was a unanimous vote,” Rose said. “Unfortunately, that’s what has to occur.”

Planning Director Dave Engelhart said the commission could give Lane permission to weatherize the area in the interim, until plans are approved.

“He’s trying to work with us,” Engelhart said.

Bunting said Lane had permission to do what he needed to do to keep the building safe in terms of cold weather. The commission also agreed he could bring in fence plans with his building plans, potentially at the commission’s next meeting.

“We want to see you succeed,” Bunting said. “We want to see any business in this town succeed. We’re not here to prevent any of that. Work with us.”

He encouraged Lane to reach out directly to commission members, who he said were always accessible.

“We’re not trying to put anyone down for what they do in the town,” Bunting said. “We were sworn in to abide by the historic laws the historic code, of the historic district… We’re here to work with you. We’re not here to be a detriment.”

When asked if he’d be changing the name of Tiki Tim’s now that he’d taken over that as well as the main building, Lane said he would not be.

“Bryan is building a clothing brand and canned drinks based around the Tiki Tim’s name,” Lane said. “One of the stipulations for me to take over was I would not be changing that. That will remain Tiki Tim’s, The Globe will be The Globe.”

Commission members also asked about the menu.

“So it doesn’t sound too exciting if any of you have been to my last spot we were known for our food…,” Lane said. “We’re doing fried chicken and southern barbeque elevated with a little Asian flair here and there. Everything’s scratch made.”

Lane said he would also be bringing back brunch to the restaurant. He added that he felt his menu would add to the array of choices in Berlin.

Commission member Laura Stearns agreed.

“The more choices the better,” she said.

Rose said she was hopeful The Globe would become as busy as it once was.

“It was always like a hub,” she said. “Every time you would go in you’d see tons of folks you knew. I think a lot of people have missed that. I know I have.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.