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Cabaret plans revealed

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: Contractor Sid Gibson submitted architectural plans to the planning and zoning commission, detailing proposed renovations to Bandera iconic dancehall, The Cabaret, as P&Z Vice Chairman Jason Williams looked on.

For those who have wondered, "What's going on with the Cabaret?" questions can now be answered. Renovations and reconstruction of the historic dance hall are in the pipeline at last.
According to contractor Sid Gibson, the intention is to create an upgraded and versatile facility utilizing remnants of the original steel building - the only portion of the 80-year-old historic dance hall remaining.
During a Tuesday, Jan. 21, meeting, Gibson offered members of the City of Bandera Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission a look at the architectural plans, prepared by Barry Ehrmann.
"We want your approval so we can move forward and apply for a building permit from the city," Gibson said. He also indicated he was aware that more detailed plans would have to be submitted.
Steve Ball owns both the Cabaret on Main Street and The Mansion in Bandera on Hackberry Street. Gibson, owner of Craftsman Custom Homes, will spearhead the extensive project.
According to Gibson, Ball will not operate the completed facility himself, but will make the 40-foot by 120-foot space available for special events. When completed, it will include a combo bar and coffee shop that will also be available for lease.
Additionally, amenities will include a stage with an audience area that can be expanded or decreased depending on the event. Green rooms for performers will be located off the stage area.
"When completed, the building can be used as a meeting space for all kinds of conferences," Gibson said.
A new main entryway will be located at the back of the building where a gravel parking lot will be constructed. Silo-shaped structures on both sides of the building will be part of a water catchment system with harvested rainwater stored in two 5,000-gallon tanks and used for irrigation. Gutters will be installed along the new roof to channel the rain runoff - should there ever be rain runoff.
Canopies will be installed along the sides of the building to shade landscaped patios.
According to Gibson, the Cabaret's famous "hump" in the dance floor will be no more since that wood was not salvageable. However, he noted that other portions of the dance floor had been retained.
A new roof will be installed and there will be a capacity to "roll up the doors of the building" to create an open air, al fresco effect, but the newly reconstituted Cabaret will not be billed as an outdoor venue.
P&Z Chairman Tony Battle seemed pleased with the plans, noting, "I have no problem with the concept and see this as a significant improvement on Main Street. You're headed in the right direction."
Gibson indicated he would submit electrical and drainage plans, among others, to enable the permitting process to move forward. "We wanted to seek the approval of P&Z before requesting the permits," he said, noting that he would also submit more detailed plans to P&Z.
Additionally, Gibson noted that the original Cabaret was constructed beyond the property line and setback. Battle advised him to review the ordinance regarding setbacks.
As it stood, P&Z unanimously approved allowing Gibson and Ball to move forward to the next step of the permitting process with the understanding that more detailed documents would have to be submitted.