Artmosphere is one step closer to being able to classify itself as a bar

Posted at 9:54 PM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 22:54:55-04

The Lafayette Planning and Zoning Commission gave preliminary approval for Artmosphere to get a "conditional-use permit" at Monday night’s meeting.

One by one, property owners and musicians went to the podium speaking in favor of rezoning Artmosphere to function as a bar.

The commission took that testimony to heart, unanimously approving the proposal.

That decision brought relief to the owner Berry Kemp, who has spent years trying to meet the city’s requirements to keep her business open.

"I am so happy. I feel really warm, it was beautiful to hear the people that came up and testified. One thing about this process, it’s been very draining and going on for a long time," said Kemp.

She said she doesn’t want the pressure of making sure 51% of her profits come from food, a requirement she said would put Artmosphere’s future in jeopardy.

"To not have to constantly monitor percentages…. Unfortunately, if you come to a live music venue and you stay until 2 in the morning listening to music, you probably don’t stay listening to music eating hummus the whole time but you do probably have beer the whole time. And one just kind of outweighs the other when it’s all said and done," she explained.

Kemp said she wants to make sure people have a familiar and comfortable place to relax.

"I never did want to have a bar, still don’t want to have a bar. I want to have a place where people can come and enjoy the pleasures of life their friend their family their community, enjoy music, hang out enjoy the food, enjoy the arts."

Although tonight was a success for Artmosphere, the issue is still not over. The Lafayette City-Parish council still needs to introduce the ordinance on May 1st and vote on it May 15.

To read more about Artmosphere’s history with zoning click here and here.