A Paso Robles gambling establishment that had hoped to move to the south end of town and expand its operation there has instead sold the site for an undisclosed sum to Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
The Paso Robles Cardroom Casino will stay where it is on Black Oak Drive for now.
The brewery and other neighbors had opposed the card room’s proposal to move to 1649 Ramada Drive, saying it wasn’t a good fit for that area of town.
In 2014, the operators of the Paso Robles Cardroom Casino purchased the larger space on Ramada Drive up from the interchange of Highway 101 and Highway 46 West. Their intent was to double the card room’s size and add a restaurant and bar, according to previous Tribune reports.
The card room is the only one in the city and is operated by Paso Robles residents Rob and Amy Ezzell; brother Don Ezzell owns the business.
The Ramada Drive area is zoned for manufacturing, which doesn’t allow card rooms, and the Ezzells had sought a zoning change, a move that the Planning Commission unanimously supported last summer.
“There’s no drama or animosity or anything else going on,” Don Ezzell said of the decision to sell the property. “It’s purely a commercial decision. There are a lot of hurdles to locating there,” he said.
Adam Firestone, co-owner of the brewery at 1400 Ramada Drive, called it “the no-change outcome. We think that’s best for now. The neighborhood had a different vision for the future.
“We would never say that one vision was wrong; they are just different,” he added.
Neither Ezzell nor Firestone would disclose the terms of the transaction.
Knight’s Carpets & Interiors currently occupies the Ramada Drive site and plans to stay there under Firestone ownership, according to a news release.
“All parties believe the transaction is in the best interest of the various local business, residential and community stakeholders that showed interest in the relocation,” the release said.
Because the Paso Robles Cardroom Casino has outgrown its space, it will continue looking for a new location in order to expand, Ezzell said.
“Near Highway 101 and Highway 46, whether its east or west, that’s the commercial corridor for Paso Robles, and that’s where we would like to be,” Ezzell said.
This weekend, the casino is hosting a national “2Pair Poker Tournament” event at its Black Oak Drive location.