At the Aug 13 Board of Selectmen meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve a request to remove several parking spots on West Elm Street in front of Elm Street Oyster House, Aux Delices and Myx Kitchen. (https://www.restaurantji.com/ct/greenwich/my-mix-creative-kitchen-/)
The restaurants wanted to spread their outdoor seating out to the areas used for parking spots. The sidewalk was not quite wide enough to allow for social distancing and for pedestrians to pass through.
Oyster House and Aux Delices are in the CGB zone and are not required to offer parking. Myx Kitchen is adjacent but in a different and must provide parking to patrons. Tom Heagney, representing Aux Delices and Oyster House, said that in the evening Bank of America’s parking lot is available for parking.
The restaurants purchased their own jersey barriers to enclose the parking spots because DPW had none left, but the barriers went up quickly.
Because Governor Lamont’s Executive order 7MM suspends and modifies certain permitting and approval processes for outdoor activities, the process was straightforward.
Typically outdoor dining goes before the Planning & Zoning commission, but because of 7MM, following the Selectmen’s vote, the P&Z director was able to use her authority to approve the application.
Four parking spots were removed in front of Aux Delices and Elm Street Oyster House and three were removed in front of Myx Kitchen.
“It’s saved restaurants,” Camillo said of outdoor dining in the area of Greenwich Ave, which will continue to Dec 21. The block at the bottom of the Ave – between Grigg and Fawcett Place and Railroad Ave is closed to vehicular traffic, and has been a draw to restaurants with outdoor dining.
On Friday on WGCH Camillo said the outdoor dining had created an exciting vibe and that he would push to make it permanent annually from April to December. He said patrons are loving the opportunity to eat outdoors.
Still he said, “We are willing to adjust if we see there is a need. We approved it right away because time is of the essence, and this is the season when people love to be outside. And these restaurants can really do well.”
“So far we’ve had very few adjustments since we started last spring,” he added. “If someone comes to us with concerns, we address them even if we don’t agree with them we will investigate.”
On Friday, after saluting three hero lifeguards at Island Beach, Camillo said the Reimagine Greenwich committee was fundraising for more jersey barriers and to raise money for a trolley to run between town hall and Greenwich Avenue. He also said restaurants on Lewis Street might be the next to request expanded outdoor dining.
Aug 17, 2020