The Bella Nonna Restaurant owner Tony Crudele went before the Planning & Zoning commission Tuesday night to seek zoning approval for outdoor dining on the front lawn outside his restaurant at 280 Railroad Ave.
The restaurant previously received approval to expand their restaurant into adjacent space formerly occupied by Greenwich Lock and Door, and that project is now complete.
While a House bill that allows for outdoor dining was extended under executive order, and the restaurant has been taking advantage of that, they would like to have an approval to continue outdoor dining in future years.
“Due to recent hardships and changes, outside dining is a crucial necessary element to conduct business,” the applicant wrote in their narrative on file.
Parking is always a key consideration for Planning & Zoning, and Mr. Crudele said there is a considerable amount of parking capacity both at the front and rear of the building.
There is also underground lot under the building, though not everyone is aware of that option.
At 280 Railroad Avenue there are 149 total parking spaces including the front lot, back lot and underground.
There are also 30 Town parking spaces on the street between Field Point Rd and Arch Street, which the applicant said are mostly empty and are free after after 5:00pm. The restaurant’s peak operating hours are 5:00-8:00pm.
The commission asked for a drawing depicting the seating both inside and outdoors, with the number of seats and types, ie tables and chairs or picnic tables.
The applicant will need approval from the Health Dept based on the kitchen size and number of bathrooms, which might be greater with more seating.
They also were asked to check with the Health Dept that the food service permit would apply to tables on a grass surface.
Additionally, Mr. Crudele said his landlord also owns 200 Railroad Avenue, which is adjacent, and has offered parking there for 5-8 vehicles belonging to Mr. Crudele and his staff.
The item was left open.