Fat Ronnie’s wants license without conditions

Owner Reynaldo Faust wants approval for beer and wine, but selectmen want to see approval from other departments.

Reynaldo Faust, owner of Fat Ronnie's, speaks to Oak Bluffs selectmen about a beer and wine license for his restaurant. — Rich Saltzberg

Reynaldo Faust’s struggle to get a beer and wine license continued Tuesday night at the Oak Bluffs selectmen meeting after he asked selectmen to approve his application without conditions.

Faust, the owner of Fat Ronnie’s, has had issues receiving a license to serve beer at his burger restaurant on Circuit Avenue. 

Speaking during the public comment period of the meeting, Faust singled out selectman Gail Barmakian for preventing him from getting the license, and claimed he has been ignored when trying to be put on the selectmen’s agenda. 

While frustrated with Barmakian, Faust praised chairman Brian Packish for his efforts in trying to remedy the situation and move the application forward. “I want it to be on the agenda to ask the board to treat me like everyone else, and award me the beer and wine license without conditions, just like you’ve done with other recent businesses,” Faust said citing MV Salads, Toccopuro, and Dos as new restaurants that had no issues with town permitting.

Packish said he spoke with the building department about Faust’s bathroom, which was designated “not adequate for public use.” Faust told Packish he was amenable to some changes to make the bathroom more accessible in the eyes of the building department.

“The onus is not on us as a town, it’s on you as a building owner,” Packish said. “I think that piece is very surmountable for you.”

Since Faust spoke during the public comment period, Packish said he was not going to “go back and forth,” but said Faust could easily meet his conditions with the building and wastewater departments by going through the process.

Faust continued to single out Barmakian as the issue.

“She persuaded and influenced you guys to send me to a board that you knew I wasn’t going to get approved,” Faust said.

Faust and Barmakian began speaking over each other, before Packish cut in.

“Gail, stop adding fuel to the fire, please,” Packish said. “We can’t discuss this any further.”

Faust insisted on being back on the agenda for approval without conditions, but Packish said there would be nothing new to talk about until Faust met with the building and wastewater departments.

“Until those things occur, there’s nothing more for us to talk about,” Packish said.

In other business, the town has found a use for the temporary trailers that sit across from town hall. Oak Bluffs school administrative offices will move into the trailers as repairs and renovations are being done at the Oak Bluffs School over the summer. 

The trailers were leased by the town for 18 months at $8,200 a month and were intended to house town employees while a new town hall was being built, but voters denied additional funding for a new town hall, leaving the trailers empty and unused. 

In May, squatters were found living inside the trailers. At Tuesday’s meeting, town administrator Robert Whritenour joked that the town had to “evict the tenants.”

“We’re making good, productive use of those temporary trailers. The downside is we will no longer be housing for homeless people.” Whritenour said as selectmen chuckled.

Selectmen also approved all restaurants and bars to be allowed to serve alcohol until 1:30 am from July 3 to July 6.