Two more dining decks — Red Banjo and Zona Rosa — could pop up soon
Two Main Street restaurants on Thursday could win the permits they need to build dining decks on the street, potentially becoming the third and fourth eateries to do so, in decisions that could further alter the summertime and fall streetscape of the shopping, dining and entertainment strip.
Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council are scheduled to consider leases with the Mexican food restaurant Zona Rosa and Red Banjo pizza parlor to allow the restaurants to build the decks, which would be placed on the street in a similar fashion as the ones outside Cisero’s and Bistro 412.
The Cisero’s and Bistro 412 decks appeared in recent weeks, giving other restaurants a chance to monitor the crowds at the two Steve McComb-owned establishments.
There had been talk in the days after McComb built his two decks that a group of other restaurants planned to put up their own soon afterward. Zona Rosa and Red Banjo, though, led the others, and it was unclear early in the week whether there would be more applications submitted to City Hall.
Williams and the City Council are expected to consider the leases at a meeting starting at 6 p.m. at the Marsac Building. The elected officials are not expected to discuss the decks at great length.
David Ireland, whose wife’s family owns Red Banjo, said the restaurant already offers a second-story deck seating approximately 15 people, but Red Banjo also wants to provide the opportunity for people to eat outside on the Main Street level as well.
"People come in and want to eat outside . . . People will leave if they can’t eat outside," Ireland said, adding, "Everybody wants to eat outside in the summer."
If the City Council approves the agreement with Red Banjo, Ireland said, the restaurant could start the construction as early as Monday. Under that schedule, the Red Banjo deck could open by late next week, Ireland said, acknowledging the restaurant had wanted to open a deck on Main Street for Independence Day.
The deck will be designed with a long bench on the street side facing the tables. It will be painted red and white to match the colors of the pizza parlor. Ireland estimated it will cost the restaurant $5,600 to build.
Zona Rosa, meanwhile, also has a second-story deck but wants to offer outdoor dining on the Main Street level. Bob Murphy, the general manager, said he anticipates a deck would seat upward of 20 people at up to 10 tables, pending approval by the City Council.
"It’s going to say, ‘Let’s eat here.’ You’re in the middle of the action, basically. It’s better than a neon sign," Murphy said.
He said Zona Rosa wants to open the deck as early as the opening of the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, which is scheduled to open on Main Street Aug. 6. The deck’s design would include brick red features and stainless steel rail, Murphy said.
Murphy wants the deck to debut as Zona Rosa rebrands itself with an American menu and a new name, one that probably will include the number 501 to highlight its address on Main Street.
He said the deck could attract more Parkites to the restaurant and lessen its reliance on tourist business, saying it will be a "giant ‘Open’ sign for us."
The appearance of the dining decks, starting with McComb’s places, mark Main Street’s continuing efforts to market itself amid the economic downturn and with increased competition from elsewhere in Park City and Kimball Junction. The restaurants see the decks as drawing people who otherwise would eat outside elsewhere.
The decks outside McComb’s two restaurants have been packed numerous times since they were built, with the diners appearing to enjoy their perches just off Main Street. The two decks have 62 seats between them, with the one outside Cisero’s being the larger of the two.
McComb said there have been several occasions when all of the seats were taken. He hopes other restaurants open decks, too, saying they enliven Main Street.
"It certainly has helped my business. It helped both day and nighttime business," he said. "The more places that do it, the better it will be for Main Street."
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