CARBONDALE — Allegria will join its neighbor Phat Thai to be the first restaurants on Main Street to take advantage of Carbondale’s recently adopted policy allowing for dining in the right of way.
The restaurants will lease the right of way in front of each establishment and the street to construct temporary decks to allow patio-style dining during the summer. The town currently uses the 9-foot strip between the sidewalk and the street for parking.
The platforms will be wheelchair accessible and available to non-patrons when the restaurants are closed. Similar decks are already in use in Park City, Utah. Construction is expected to be completed by June 6 for what is often one of the biggest First Friday events of the year, and will remain in place until the end of September.
Each establishment occupies a 25-foot section on the north side of the Main Street, or about one-sixth of the 300 block. The Pour House originally joined the application but pulled out before the process was complete.
The proposal was approved unanimously by the Carbondale Board of Trustees on Tuesday night.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Mayor Stacey Bernot. “I received a lot of positive comments from folks.”
The first year of dining in the right of way will be considered a trial period to “gauge success and impacts of street side dining,” according to a memorandum prepared by Town Manager Jay Harrington.
One of the primary concerns is the loss of parking spaces, although only two spaces are likely to be impacted, one of which is occupied by a bike rack. Town officials are looking at alternative locations for the rack.
In a collective letter submitted to the town as part of the premises application, Allegria and Phat Thai expressed their confidence in the project.
“We believe this would provide a certain amount of good energy to Main Street and generate additional traffic to local business and additional income to the Town of Carbondale in the form of tax revenues,” it read.
According to Harrington, Allegria and Phat Thai are the only restaurants to have gone through the approval process. Phat Thai owner Mark Fischer was an early proponent of dining in the right of way.
There are no current plans to add a platform to Fischer’s other Carbondale restaurant, Town, which is on the shady side of Main Street and already has outdoor seating.