Curb cafes to come to Carlsbad

Curb cafes to come to Carlsbad
The above is a rendering of a proposed curb café in front of Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant on State Street, which would consist of a temporary deck over two parking spaces. Image courtesy of Kirk Keller from Studio One Eleven at Perkowitz + Ruth Architects.

CARLSBAD — New patio dining areas may be popping up in the Village thanks to approval from City Council for a three-year curb café pilot program.

Through the program, Village restaurants in approved locations could build temporary decks for outdoor dining over street parking spaces in front of their businesses.

“I believe (curb cafes) to be a progressive, a real sexy idea for something we can incorporate in this city,” said Alfredo Gonzales, whose family has owned Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant in downtown Carlsbad for over 50 years.

Local restaurants, most notably Garcia’s, have implored the city for the opportunity to establish outdoor eating areas that do not crowd sidewalks.

Curb cafes have also been recommended as part of the Village revitalization efforts.

“This (curb cafes) is to have more of an outdoor presence for people to see each other and be seen, enjoy the weather, and make (the Village) a much more social area,” said Steve Gibson, president of Urban Place Consulting, the firm hired by the city to manage the Village revitalization projects.

As a new city endeavor, curb cafes will initially be allowed through 2015 to give city planners the opportunity to evaluate the project to ensure safety and success.

During the trial period, restaurants must receive a permit and pay over $1,000 in various city fines to build a temporary curb café.

According to city requirements, curb cafes can only be built on streets with little traffic and cover a maximum of two parking spaces. The city will only allow up to 11 curb cafes within the pilot period.

City Council unanimously approved the program at its March 12 meeting.

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