CARY – The Cary Village Board decided to postpone voting on whether to approve a liquor license and video gaming license for Bella’s Bistro Market.
RSB Wine Bar Inc., represented by Robert Friedman, is proposing to bring its wine bistro concept to the former Sports Clips space, 632 Route 14, according to village documents.
At a Village Board meeting Tuesday, Friedman compared the concept to a Cooper’s Hawk or Eataly; however, some trustees are opposed to the business because they said it relies too heavily on video gaming.
“The look of this is going to be just sensational,” Friedman said. “… We’re bringing something else to the market that's not here.”
Owners intend to sell small plate menu items paired with Italian wines and provide off-premises sales of food and wine through the market portion of the store, documents show. Fresh cuts meats, cheeses, olives and olive oils would be among the items offered, Friedman said.
About half of its sales are expected to come from the market, while half would come from food and beverages consumed on-site, according to the business plan. Friedman said the plans are contingent on receiving a gaming license.
Preliminary plans for the store’s layout include tables and chairs, a deli counter and bar area, a space with shelves for the market and a separate area for video gaming.
“To me, this is nothing that I think belongs in the shopping center, nothing that belongs in the village of Cary," Trustee Rick Dudek said.
Cary’s policy previously has been to support video gaming as an accessory to a restaurant, and licenses granted have been consistent with that policy, according to village documents.
Trustee Ellen McAlpine said she was concerned that Bella’s Bistro Market primarily would be a video gaming venue.
“It’s really the opposite,” Friedman said.
Trustee Kim Covelli said she didn’t mind the concept and would like to hear more from the business owners. Mayor Mark Kownick also suggested that he and trustees visit the owners' other location in Summit.
Trustees ultimately decided to review the concept at a future board meeting.