Future of North Beach Bar & Grill up in the air

Future of North Beach Bar & Grill up in the air

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - The big question on Tybee Island is should North Beach Bar and Grill be stripped from its current owners and placed in the hands of the highest bidder?

This is a very emotional issue for many folks because George Spriggs and Kathryn Williams have leased this property from the city for a number of years. They brought it up from basically a shack in the early 90s to what it is today.

But, in June, the City of Tybee Island solicited proposals for the lease of the property. Saying they have an equal opportunity purchasing policy to assure open and free competition.

North Beach Bar & Grill explained it this way, in part, on Facebook:

Georgia law requires municipalities to put all properties for sale or lease out to bid. Since our current lease is up in April 2017, the City of Tybee is following O.C.G.A 36-37-6 and has issued an invitation to bid. We will be submitting a bid in response to the RFP (or request for proposals) and hope to be able to continue our tradition of great food and community involvement.

North Beach Bar & Grill was outbid, and now some residents are questioning was the process right and fair?

"I think now as times have changed they're really having to bear down on what they feel is legal and right but then at the same time, you've got people that have given their hearts and souls into that business for almost 30 years," said "Tybee Jack" Boylston, longtime Tybee resident.

North Beach Bar & Grill wasn't just outbid.

The highest bidder, Kellam, Kellam, and Morrison who also own other bars in Tybee, also beat them on the Scoring Matrix tally. It looks at things like experience, qualifications and more.

Some now question if the process is right and fair.

"I think there's been some finger-pointing and some things like that going on, but I don't feel like that's part of it at all. I think it was the process," said concerned resident, Doug MacKay.

"Let's look at the heart of it, and I know this business, and I understand that, but sometimes, we have to look a little bit further than that," said Judy Compton, another resident.

This isn't a done deal yet. Tybee City Council meets Thursday to discuss the proposal and it's promised to be a packed house.

Some people are even holding "Save North Beach Bar & Grill" meetings on Monday night.

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