Which Main Street dining deck might you choose next year?
November 19, 2010
Outdoor dining on Main Street next summer could expand significantly, with City Hall officials leaning toward allowing upward of a dozen restaurants to build dining decks into the road.
The Park City Council on Thursday talked about the setup on Main Street with the dining decks but did not set a limit on the number that will be authorized. The elected officials, though, seemed to agree that between 12 and 15 of the decks is an appropriate number.
In 2010, the debut year of the decks, three were built — outside Bistro 412, Cisero’s and Zona Rosa. Some Main Street restaurateurs indicated this year they wanted to monitor the success of the first decks before committing to building one themselves. The decks were frequently packed, and the restaurants owners that built them this year seemed pleased with the business.
Tom Eddington, the planning director at City Hall, said staffers over the next few months intend to craft a set of criteria that will be used to rank the applications for decks next year. The ranking will be needed if more restaurants apply to build a deck than there are spots available on Main Street.
Eddington said criteria could include whether a restaurant already has outdoor tables available and the number of days a restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
He said City Hall will want the applications submitted by March 1.
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Eddington said he anticipates up to 15 restaurants will turn in applications next year, saying not all the eateries on Main Street will want to build a dining deck. He said the cost of putting one up might be too expensive for some of the restaurants while others will decide they do not want to offer a deck on Main Street.
Meanwhile, City Hall anticipates charging the restaurants to put the decks on the street next year after allowing the ones this year without a fee. Eddington said the figure is expected to be $270 for each parking spot a deck occupies. He said a typical deck would be put on one or two parking spots.
The $270-per-spot fee is based on the money City Hall says it would have collected in paid-parking fees if the decks were not built on the parking spots.
The City Council also touched on the effects the decks could have on the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, which occupies Main Street for a weekend in early August. City Hall will demand the decks be removed for the festival unless the restaurants make arrangements with the Kimball Art Center, the organizer of the festival. An official with the Kimball, though, said it was not clear whether the decks will fit within the layout of the festival.
Kevin Valaika, who is with the restaurant Shabu and leads the Park City Area Restaurant Association, briefly discussed the hours of operation of the dining decks compared to the hours the restaurants are open. There was little interest from regular Parkites on Thursday night.
The dining decks were a dramatic addition to the Main Street streetscape this year as they drew people in for lunch and dinner. The decks were frequently packed, and the restaurateur that built two of them — Steve McComb — has said they boosted business.
The dining decks are seen as an attraction as Main Street competes with widening competition from other places inside Park City as well as the shopping, dining and entertainment options in the Snyderville Basin.