Will Heat Lamps Add Ambiance to Seventh Street Dining?

John Wilton asks board to consider idea to enhance the al fresco dining experience during the winter.

Al fresco dining is offered all year round in Garden City.
Al fresco dining is offered all year round in Garden City.
John Wilton, chairman of the Garden City Merchant Professional Retailers Group, says the idea of providing outdoor heating for patrons dining al fresco during the winter in Garden City is "growing legs."

He asked the village board to take the idea into consideration, especially in light of that fact that other communities around the country say "it changes the vitality and the dynamics and economics of the downtown dramatically."

Back in 2010 trustees unanimously agreed to grant merchants the opportunity to offer patrons al fresco dining all year round.

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Prior to the change, the European-style dining was offered, via village permit, between April 1 and Nov. 30. Of the 41 restaurants that obtained outdoor dining permits during the 2010 season, 38 of them wanted to offer it all year round.

"if we could think of the whole south side of Seventh Street illuminated and heated all winter long I think it would be something that would contribute significantly," said Wilton, who met with building superintendent Mike Filippon and Fire Chief Charles Cavarra about the lamps.

The village board has the power to authorize the use of such lamps. There has not yet been a public discussion amongst trustees regarding the idea.



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