Berlin Historic Commission Approves Changes At The Globe

BERLIN– After several meetings and lengthy discussion, the town’s historic district commission approved improvements to The Globe.

The Berlin Historic District Commission (HDC) last week approved plans for a fence to cover the walk-in cooler and changes to the tiki bar area at The Globe.

“We don’t want to hold you up,” said Nornie Bunting, HDC chair. “We want to do the right thing. We want to clean this up. We want this looking nice.”

In February, HDC members gave Bryan Brushmiller, owner of The Globe, 10 days to remove unauthorized changes to the historic building. While he removed a portion of what had been done, Brushmiller leased the space to a new tenant before rectifying the situation. As a result, new tenant Jon Lane has been working with HDC members to address their concerns. Last month, they advised him he’d have to erect a fence approved several years ago along Gay Street before they’d approve changes to the tiki bar.

Lane and his father, David Lane, returned to the commission this month seeking approval for a fence and the addition of Isinglass curtains for the tiki bar.

They said the fence they were proposing was about eight feet long whereas the fence the commission initially proposed was more than 40 feet long. Jon Lane said he was worried the fence would get damaged by delivery trucks.

“With a fence this expensive I can’t afford to build it once let alone multiple times,” he said.
Instead, he proposed a shorter fence and mulch and planters along the side of the building to beautify the area. He said the shorter fence would still cover the restaurant’s grease trap and kegs. His father pointed out that too long of a fence could hinder egress from the side of the building if there was a fire.

Commission members said they weren’t sure they could approve a shorter fence, as they’d made a motion previously to require the fence they’d originally approved before allowing changes to the tiki bar.

“I’m going to step out on a limb here, a very thin limb,” Bunting said.

He told his fellow commission members he was willing to consider a new motion regarding the fence, as Lane was a new proprietor of the business. Bunting went on to say that he thought the fence should be longer than eight feet, as he believed it should cover the facility’s walk-in cooler.

Lane pointed out that he’d painted the walk-in cooler so it was less obtrusive. Bunting said the original purpose of the fence when it was approved for prior owners of the property was to cover the walk-in.

“I think a good compromise is to take it just past the walk in,” HDC member John Holloway said. “It gets us moving forward.”

David Lane said the fence could be extended past eight feet.

“If the goal is to cover the walk-in that’s what we’ll do,” he said.

Lane also told the commission about the Isinglass curtains he wanted to install at the tiki bar area. He said they would look just like the curtains in place at the Blacksmith.

HDC member Laura Stearns said what was proposed would look much cleaner than what was there now.

The commission voted 5-0 to approve the curtains as well as a fence along the side of the building shielding the walk-in cooler. Bunting said the motion was contingent on the commission consulting its legal counsel and ensuring the new motion could supersede the prior motion about the fence.

Holloway said he was sorry Lane was forced to deal with issues that were created long before he took over the restaurant. HDC member Mary Moore agreed.

“It’s like being thrown into the lion’s cage,” she said.

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.