LA MESA VILLAGE – Investors plan to spend $250,000 to expand a downtown La Mesa bar, adding another outdoor patio and scheduling regular Karaoke and live music performances at the La Mesa Boulevard location. Operators of the bar, The Regal, which is located just east of the city’s Walk of the Stars, appeared before the city’s Planning Commission seeking a special use permit that would allow them to expand the bar, add an outdoor patio with tables and have enough room for an inside performance space.

The only issue raised during the public hearing involved the on-going balance between noise generated by bars downtown and the need of surrounding businesses and nearby residences for limits to that noise.

Bill McHugh, managing partner of The Regal, told the commissioners that he and his partners have been in the bar business for a number of years. They also own Jose’s on Prospect in La Jolla, he said. They purchased The Regal, formally a hard core music bar, in 2009 and began improving it with the intention of expansion.

O’Dunn Fine Art, located next door, plans to move elsewhere in La Mesa so McHugh and his partners drew up plans to expand the bar. He said they intend to feature mainstream music only and to look for an older clientele, 25-years and older. He said he and his partners would work with surrounding business owners and nearby residents to assure that music decibels don’t offend.

The Planning Commission took McHugh at his word, approving the special use permit, but leaving language in the permit that will force The Regal to return to the Planning Commission if noise problems rise to a “nuisance’’ level.

McHugh estimates he and his partners have spent more than $200,000 upgrading the property already and will spend another $250,000 to expand and build out the outdoor patio. “We really intend this to be a place where people can bring a date or meet with friends and have a conversation,’’ McHugh said. “We will have Karaoke and special events, but even then the patio area will be a place where people will be able to have a quiet conversation.’’

The patio section of the new facility will be in the rear of the property, closer to the alley and Allison Avenue to the north.

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Tags: La Mesa bar, The Regal

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