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WEIGH IN: Could Heat Lamps on Seventh Street Boost Business?

The idea gets mixed reviews from some of our Facebook fans.

Could heat lamps on Seventh Street boost business for food establishments offering al fresco dining during the winter?
Could heat lamps on Seventh Street boost business for food establishments offering al fresco dining during the winter?
Garden City Patch posed this question on its Facebook page: Could heat lamps on Seventh Street boost business for food establishments offering al fresco dining during the winter?

Patch received plenty of feedback about the possible use of such lamps and whether or not it would draw more of a crowd to the downtown business district during winter months:

For Nancie Mangels-Pluto the street fumes are just too much to take while enjoying an outdoor meal no matter what the season.

"Even in the late spring, summer & fall...I would rather eat inside or in the back of the establishment if possible. The street fumes are too much. If you can..heat lamps in the back. So then it's a maybe. Not on 7th or Franklin Ave."

Micheline Hull Dolan doesn't think heaters would be cost effective no matter where they were located.

"Even in summer, Seventh Street is really not conducive to al fresco dining...crowded, traffic, noisy...heaters would not help with wind, snow or other inclement weather," she wrote. "I don't think it would be cost effective no matter where they were located (front or back of the establishment), as the opportunity for usage would be very limited."

Patch reader Douglas O'Connor said the idea could work if Seventh Street was closed to vehicular traffic.

According to trustee Dennis Donnelly, however, the idea of closing Seventh Street to all vehicular traffic has received mixed reviews over the years with some merchants even believing such a move would hurt business.

"Businesses in the business district don't want to do that. We've asked them to do that on multiple occasions," Donnelly said during the recent town hall Q&A, adding half the stores do make money and half the stores say it'll drive traffic away because there's no parking available for customers.

John Wilton, chairman of the Garden City Merchant Professional Retailers Group, says the idea of offering outdoor heating to patrons 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."

"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," Wilton said.

Could heat lamps on Seventh Street boost business for food establishments offering al fresco dining during the winter? Let us know in the comments section below.
Drew Art Guy @ Sunflower Fine Art Galleries February 05, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Fantastic Idea. It works elsewhere, why not here? Know foot traffic for restaurants grows exponentially in the Spring And Fall; tables are full, the eateries have more space to serve more patrons, folks stroll Seventh...those who enjoy alfresco dinning love it. Currently , due to lack of diversity on Seventh, its the restaurants who are drawing in the people. Lets give them every tool to be successful.
Drew Art Guy @ Sunflower Fine Art Galleries February 05, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Why not also illuminate all the trees on Seventh? How warm and inviting would Seventh look with all trees aglow each evening? Then add some hanging plants off all the street lamps. They do it in Mineola, why not here? And please, please, please some work on the Seventh Street (7S) parking lot?! A dirty, dysfunctional eyesore. Lot needs new sidewalks, trees, trash bins, plantings....does not represent or present to visitors the upscale image that we all wish to portray.
Drew Art Guy @ Sunflower Fine Art Galleries February 05, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Am on a roll here- perhaps we should also ponder the serious lack of directive promotional signage as well. How can we expect unknowing, out of town drivers on Franklin Ave. (there are tens of thousands daily) to stop and shop/dine downtown when there are absolutely zero " Downtown Seventh St. Shopping District" next left/right signage ON Franklin? This ain't brain surgery here folks! Must also have the "Welcome to Garden City" sign on Franklin Ave. northern Village border, by Courthouse. Light the signs. Make them large. Use distinctive tasteful design. Meticulously care for them.
jbauer February 05, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Other communities (for example, Narberth, PA) provide child care services for parents who dine out at local restaurants on Satruday evenings. In the case of Narberth, the mayor supervises the child care at the village hall. Given the proximity of village hall in Garden City to 7th street, VGC should offer a similar program to increase traffic at local restaurants. The program is only open to people who dine at local restaurants.
jbauer February 05, 2013 at 06:03 PM
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lmparentsnetwork/message/1383
Lara Young February 06, 2013 at 11:36 AM
drew has some wonderful ideas. i second the lighting of the trees and signage... this is such a 'cute' street but it looks deserted at 8pm!
Jack O'Niel February 06, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Great idea jack bauer!

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