GROWF will grow with live events following approval of conditional use permit

Published 7:26 pm Friday, February 18, 2022

City Council unanimously approved a conditional use permit allowing for a business on East Washington Street to host live events at its herbal bar on the ground floor of a two-story building.

The GROWF Herbal Bar and Shop received the permit that will allow it to host public and private events such as pop-up shops, club meetings, birthday parties, paint nights, open mic nights, comedy shows and live bands or DJs at its location at 201 E. Washington St. The two-story, 5,200-square-foot building was built around 1915 and is part of the East Washington Street District of the Historic Conservation Overlay District.

The shop specializes in handcrafted rolling papers made out of real fruit and organic herbal essentials such as teas and bulk herbs. It had proposed live performances after its normal business hours on Fridays and Saturdays, and had proposed hosting private events from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays and Mondays and 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. Two staff members will be onsite for every event, and sound abatement will be installed in the ceiling and walls. Events will only be allowed inside the building.

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The business had received a notice of violation for hosting live entertainment last August. At that point, it put in a request for a conditional use permit to allow it.

Councilman Donald Goldberg said he met with GROWF’s owner, Janay Brown, about her request. While he expressed concern with parking, Goldberg said he expects there to be enough parking around the corner and down the street from the business.

“I visited the establishment some time ago, met with the owner, had a cup of tea, which was very good. I like tea,” Goldberg said. “She’s a very nice young lady trying to make a go of it, and I was concerned at that time that she was not going to be able to because, just offering tea, I couldn’t see how she was going to make it work. I think she’s now trying this, taking this opportunity to see what she can do.”

Mayor Mike Duman said he wished Brown was at the public hearing — in which no one spoke for or against the permit request — so he could share with her his reservation about the potential for live bands and DJs that the business would host and the sound abatement measures.