Greenwood’s Yonder Bar closing due to neighbor complaint

Update: We’ve received a statement from the City detailing the code violations that are forcing Yonder Bar to close. The violations include unlawful sign placement and off-street parking elimination due to the garage being used as a storefront.

The City’s corrections include the following:

  1. Restore the required off-street parking space or provide approved alternate off-street parking space. If approved alternate off-street parking space is provided, applicable permits and final acceptance inspections are required.
  2. To preserve the residential appearance of the dwelling unit, there shall be no evidence of the home occupation visible from the exterior of the structure.
  3. Customers visiting the home occupation for business purposes shall be by appointment only.
  4. One nonilluminated sign bearing the name of a home occupation not exceeding 64 square inches in area is allowed within Single Family zones.

Yonder shared on Facebook that while they have a business license and Washington Liquor Control Board license, zoning is their primary challenge. Their home in Greenwood is zoned single-family residential, but with the advent of the Stay Healthy Street on their block, the City told them they were in a “gray area” and were given permission to open.

“The only way it would become an issue is if they received complaints. They received a lot, but only from one person,” Yonder wrote.

“We are not giving up,” the owners write. “We have been working on keeping Yonder Bar as it is for more than two months. The final changes we have been asked to complete would completely change Yonder Bar as we know it now. We are working with City Council to find a solution, but it will take months. But we’ll find a way.⁠”

Original: A local walk-up cider bar is being forced to close after complaints that it’s located too close to churches and schools.

Yonder Bar opened in August last year in the owner’s garage at 7800 1st Ave NW in Greenwood. Their block has been designated a Stay Healthy Street since last spring, and the small cider house has generated a loyal following from locals who swing by for a four-pack of cider on their neighborhood strolls.

But that’s all set to change soon: Yonder Bar will be closing Feb. 15.

“While we’ve been working hard to launch a brand, survive a pandemic, build a community and have some fun, one person has made it their mission to close Yonder Bar down,” the owners shared on their website.

According to the SDCI Code Complaint and Violation records, the chief complaint is that Yonder Bar is located within 500 feet of churches and schools. St John Catholic School and St. John the Evangelist Parish is around the corner from the cider bar, and Greenwood Elementary School is a block away

“They are located on a Stay [Healthy} street, and their patrons are consuming the alcohol that they purchase from Yonder Bar on the street even while children are walking and biking past them,” one complaint reads.

“We do not feel it is appropriate and clearly not safe for our parish community, as well as for the surrounding neighborhood, for the sale of alcoholic beverages to be so close to our church.”

The cidery owners say they have tried “working and pleading” with the city to “no avail,” and so are closing down next week.

Yonder Cider, which is produced in Wenatchee, will continue to be available on a delivery basis and through local retailers as the owners look for a new location.

They’re not giving up the fight quite yet, though: “If you love Yonder Bar, please fill out the letter of support! It will help us as we work to find a solution to show how Yonder Bar has become more than just a ‘to-go tasting room’ – it’s part of the community.”

To read more and sign the letter, visit here.

Photo: Yonder Bar on Facebook

Thanks to Sam for the tip!