Del Ray BBQ spot expansion heading to City Council this weekend

Meal at Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ (image via Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ/Facebook)

Del Ray’s BBQ scene could be getting a little bigger soon.

A plan to boost the size of outdoor smokehouse Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ (2000 Mount Vernon Avenue) in Del Ray, in the backyard of Evening Star Cafe, is heading to the City Council at a meeting on Saturday, Oct. 14.

The proposal is to allow 74 additional outdoor dining seats at the outdoor restaurant, for a total of 124 seats. The owners also hope to add live entertainment, extended hours of operation, and a new temporary trailer for beer kegs and restaurant services.

The restaurant has faced pushback from neighbors, primarily for issues related to smells from the restaurant. According to the staff report:

Starting in March 2023 when Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ first opened, City staff has received several complaints relating to the existing business operations: 12 regarding smoke and odor and four complaints regarding excessive noise; three of which related to noise from performers playing music. Additional complaints regarding delivery trucks blocking driveways have been more recently received.

The report noted that staff directed the restaurant owners to remove the smokers and said the outdoor seating needed a special use permit.

The staff report recommended approval of most of the proposal, though not for live performances given that the proposed “cabana stage” would be within 60 feet of neighboring residences.

Arlandria bar Hops N’ Shine went to the City Council earlier this year similarly hoping for more outdoor seating and live music, and walked away with mixed results and outright rejecting the proposed live outdoor entertainment over similar concerns about proximity to neighboring residences.

The Planning Commission supported the Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ proposal in a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner David Brown opposing. However, the staff report indicated that multiple Planning Commissioners raised concerns about mitigating the smell of smoke. The report noted that applicant Michael Babin said he could work on mitigating the impact of the restaurant on neighbors.

Image via Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ/Facebook