When one door closes, another opens: Former church building purchased for supper club

Oct. 26—LIMA — When one door closes, another one opens. One local resident is hoping to utilize a previous church building for a Heavenly Soulfood Supper Club. Owner Catherine Tucker Munday said the motto is to feed community members "mind, body and soul." The Board of Adjustment met Wednesday afternoon to discuss a variance.

"The petitioner for the variance today is Heavenly Soulfood Supper Club," said Department of Housing and Neighborhoods Associate Planner Sophia Fisher. "They are looking to add a commercial restaurant event space out of a functioning church building and a Class One Residential District. A little history, this petition was actually brought for rezoning to the City Planning Commission. There were some of the same concerns about just doing a rezoning to business."

The building was reportedly purchased in September from Lima Outreach Ministries.

"What we are trying to do in this building is convert it into a soul food restaurant, entertainment facility and also do outreach," Munday said. "It is a combination building. We wanted to have it rezoned so we can have live entertainment upstairs — Our goal is to have a positive atmosphere, bring something that is walkable to a lot of people in an area and provide the community with some good entertainment."

Munday is hoping to obtain a D1, D2 and D3 liquor license for the Supper Club. Munday also hopes to have Bible studies on Wednesday evenings to reach those who may not normally attend church.

Community members opposed to the change joined the meeting to share their perspectives. Pastors of Mt. Calvary (located across the street) Jack and April Love expressed their concerns for the area.

"We have evening services," April Love said. "We cannot predict what will or will not happen. We want to make sure that people are safe. Anytime there is liquor, unpredictable things could happen."

The restaurant will be open throughout the week. The supper club activities would be in the evenings with live entertainment including blues, jazz, poetry and clean comedy. Munday said the club is not a bar, but guests will be allotted one drink per hour during the entertainment with their meal ticket.

"That is so close to our church and with it being a residential area there are a lot of children around there," Love said. "We are trying to bring positivity to the community. Having a liquor license and bringing that kind of thing to the neighborhood kind of scares us."

A decision has not yet been made from the Board of Adjustment to rezone the property. The issue was tabled until a later meeting is scheduled.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.