Montgomery residents voice concerns over new restaurant

Montgomery, Ala. (WSFA) -- It's part of the process when opening a new business:  introducing yourself and getting to know nearby neighbors.

However, a meeting at a proposed restaurant on Eastern Boulevard was anything but typical.

Carriage Hills residents are concerned Pier 59, a potential replacement for the old McAllisters Deli, would bring unwanted clientel to the area.

Residents say they're mainly concerned with the restaurant's application for a liquor license, extended weekend hours, and a proposed fence between the business and nearby houses.

"[If] we put a fence back here, we allow access to people who may want to break into our house because they cant see us from the road," said one concerned homeowner.

"All we're asking for is a chance," said Gary Blackwell, Pier 59's manager.  Blackwell says his business will host a family atmosphere and won't attract crime.

Asked about shootings at Igor's, one of his former businesses just down the street, Blackwell admitted to residents some things are out of his control.

"The lady that got killed, was killed by her boyfriend that kidnapped her for a whole week.  It just so happens she was at Igor's trying to get away from him," Blackwell said.

Still, some residents say they don't want to take the chance, and city leaders understand the dilemma.

"You don't want to put any undue burden on the neighbors, and that sort of concerns me," explained Glen Pruitt of the Montgomery City Council.

The restaurant's application for a liquor license will go before the City Council on Tuesday.