'Pop-outs' on the rise: Outdoor permits OK'd for two more restaurants
Updated 3:13 pm, Friday, May 17, 2013
Westport doubled the number of permits for temporary pop-out cafes Wednesday, as the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved applications from Bobby Q's Barbecue & Grill on Main Street and Cru restaurant, a new restaurant in the lower level of the Gap building on Main Street scheduled to open in three weeks.
These follow the pop-outs inaugurating the al fresco dining program last year at Acqua Ristorante Mediterraneo -- just down the street from Cru on the Parker-Harding Plaza side of Main Street -- and La Villa Trattoria on Bay Street.
Pop-out cafe permits, modeled after outdoor dining areas at eateries in New York City and elsewhere, allow restaurants to temporarily set out tables and chairs for diners in public parking spots.
"I think the pop-outs have been enormously successful. They make the downtown far more interesting," Selectman Shelly Kassen said.
Bobby LeRose, owner of Bobby Q's, said his outdoor seating area will take over two parking spaces on Main Street. This will allow pedestrians to walk on the sidewalk between the restaurant and the outdoor cafÃ©. The area will have approximately 24 seats.
"It should be a nice addition to Main Street," LeRose said.
He said he plans to erect the outdoor seating area by next Thursday.
Cru's plans call for using three parking spaces in the Parker-Harding lot between the Saugatuck River and the western backside of Main Street.
"You'll have a beautiful view of the river," owner Steven Prokop said.
With Cru set to open in three weeks, Prokop said the pop-out cafÃ© will open in about a month.
The pop-out season runs from April 1 to Nov. 1, with the seating areas reverting to street parking during the winter months. The outdoor dining areas are allowed to be open Sunday to Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to midnight.