Curbside dining coming to town this summer What’s next, valet parking? John Colson Sopris Sun Correspondent Curbside dining will be coming to Main Street in Carbondale this summer, when at least two restaurants — phat thai, 343 Main St., and Allegria, 335 Main St. — erect dining platforms in the parking spaces in front of the two adjacent establishments. The Carbondale Board of Trustees gave its approval for the plan on Tuesday at the trustees’ regular meeting. “We contemplate the design/construction of a contiguous platform the length of our collective storefronts and the depth of a standard parking spot,” stated a letter from the restaurants to the trustees, which was part of the meeting packet on Tuesday. The wooden platforms are to be nine feet deep from the curb outward into the street, and traverse the storefronts of the adjoining restaurants, eliminating several parking spaces on Main Street. The sidewalk would be left open to pedestrian trafﬁc. Town manager Jay Harrington told the trustees that the plan discussed at Tuesday’s meeting is “very similar” to one approved by the town, for phat thai only, a month ago. Harrington, in a memo dated April 22,
alerted the trustees to the fact that Allegria and the Pour House, situated in the same block as phat thai, had both expressed interest in doing the same thing as phat thai. But town staff members told the trustees on Tuesday that Pour House manager Skip Bell recently withdrew his application to be part of the plan. Bell, who was not at the trustee meeting, told The Sopris Sun on Wednesday that his withdrawal from the plan is not necessarily ﬁnal, and is due primarily to ﬁnancial considerations. He said the Pour House might still join with the other two restaurants, after he has talked it over with the owner of the business. In the memo to the trustees, Harrington noted that due to the loss of parking spaces and the possibility of controversy as a result, “When adopting the policy (approving the restaurants’ plans), the Town Board indicated they were considering this a oneyear trial period to gauge the success and impacts of street side dining.” According to the application, the platforms would be built over the next month or so and curbside dining would begin in late May. Allegria owner Andreas Fischbacher said the grand opening of curbside dining might coincide with the First Friday events on June 6 and continue until the end of September. “It’s going to liven up the Main Street area,” predicted Fischbacher. In other action, the trustees:
• Approved a “tasting permit” license transfer for the Sopris Liquor and Wine store at 1026 Highway 133, adjacent to the intersection of the highway and Main Street. The business has been sold by former owner Terry Kirk to Carbondale businessman Federico Peña, who also owns the Mi Casita restaurant on Main Street. A hearing on the full liquor license transfer is scheduled for the May 13 trustee meeting. • Agreed to be signatories to a letter to
acting state director Ruth Welch of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), requesting that Welch conduct a special review of a pair of BLM decisions to “suspend” gasdrilling leases in the Thompson Divide held by the SG Interests and the URSA energy companies. The decisions, made on March 31, 2014, extends until April 2016 suspension decisions that were made in 2013. The suspension decisions essentially stopped the TOWN COUNCIL page 13
Trustees don’t toast Doc’s idea John Colson Sopris Sun Correspondent Carbondale’s elected leaders were somewhat amused by a proposal this week that the consumption of beer and wine be allowed at their regular board meetings. But they told the proponent of the idea, long-time local resident and political gadﬂy John “Doc” Philip, that the idea is not likely to ever become a reality. “Nobody’s having any fun anymore,” Philip lamented to the trustees on Tuesday, arguing that his idea would increase public interest in town meetings. “You’ll get more people to come here,” Philip predicted, gesturing at the nearly empty room where the trustees meet at least twice month.
“We appreciate your coming here, and the overall mission of having more fun,” said Mayor Stacey Bernot, adding that there are state laws against open containers of alcohol in public buildings, as well as members of the public that “have trouble with their sobriety” and might object to people drinking booze at public meetings. “I don’t drink, and personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable with open containers of alcohol at our meetings,” remarked Trustee Katrina Byars. Still, when pressed by Philip, Bernot conceded, “We tend to be thoughtful and try to encourage people to bring things (ideas and suggestions) to us,” adding that if others support Philip’s suggestion the trustees will at least consider it.
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THE SOPRIS SUN, Carbondale’s community supported newspaper • APRIl 24, 2014 • 5