(New Buffalo, MI) - A new cocktail lounge and restaurant with outdoor dining is expected to open in New Buffalo before summer. The New Buffalo Planning Commission (NBPC) has approved a request for an outdoor patio with customer seating at Hummingbird Lounge at 9 South Barton Street. The NBPC also endorsed the site plan for the business going in at the former Sage Bistro.
Applications for a special use permit and approval of the site plan were filed by Ben Smock and his partners in the acquisition of the property and liquor license from the previous owners. Smock said the structure being renovated for use as a cocktail lounge and restaurant should be open in the spring.
Under the plans, outdoor seating will be provided on a 19 x 19 patio area surrounded by a garden with music playing softly in the background. Smock said the base of the flooring for the patio consist of crushed concrete. There will also be a six foot high wood privacy fence at the rear of the property and a three foot tall see through fence along the front of the lot.
The garden will include passion fruit and/or Black Eyed Susan vines along the back of the property and shrubbery and other plants toward the front to provide a unique setting for the outdoor dining customers, according to the site plan. Smock said there will also be lighting contained to the deck and lights closer to the ground to highlight the vegetation.
The outdoor seating area will also contain screening designed to keep noise from bothering neighboring residents. Smock said plans for outdoor seating was driven by the restrictions on indoor dining in Michigan and throughout much of the nation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.