Local restaurateur Jody Manor’s concept for a waterfront eatery sailed through city council Saturday, earning the body’s unanimous support.
The proposed restaurant — called the Waterfront Market — will take up space in and around the Torpedo Factory and seat about 150 patrons. In exchange for using the nearby public space, Manor will add a little more than $11,000 to city coffers each year.
While the deal garnered quick support from most city councilors, Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg argued the lease fee was not high enough given the prime spot along the city’s Potomac shoreline.
“That fee … is incredible, and location, location, location,” she said. “I’m completely supportive of this project, but [the fee] struck me as low.”
Manor, owner of Old Town’s Bittersweet Cafe, defended the fee, which was proposed with city staff’s blessing, describing the project as anything but a given success.
“It’s a risk; it’s a big risk,” he said. “It’s a big space. There’s a reason it hasn’t been used or leased for 10 years, and I think we came forward with a very innovative proposal.”
Despite Silberberg’s initial protests, city council voted unanimously to approve the project and the three-year lease for public space.