If Glencoe restaurants want to continue expanded outdoor service, they will have to pay for it.
The Glencoe Village Board approved on Thursday, April 21, a pay-to-license agreement to go with the continuation of outdoor dining in the public right-of-way.
Village officials have discussed further regulating outdoor dining for months after they loosened outdoor-dining restrictions in 2020, when restaurants attempted to adjust to COVID-19 and associated mitigations.
In 2021, the Village Board decided to continue the programs and asked staff to provide analysis for an early-2022 discussion.
The discussion came to fruition Thursday, when trustees approved a set of fees and design standards that were recommended by Village staff.
Restaurants can apply to license public space near their properties to enable outdoor dining. If approved, the space will cost the restaurant 50 cents per square foot every month of usage. For example, if a restaurant wants to use six, 200-square-foot parking spaces for dining, it would cost the restaurant $600 a month (1,200 square feet multiplied by 50 cents).
Village officials estimated that Guildhall’s current set up would cost the business between $500-$600 per month.
Along with the fee, a participating restaurant must adhere to appearance guidelines for any dining structures. According to the guidelines, if the dining occurs “on-street” then crash barriers that coordinate with downtown coloring and landscaping must be used. Additionally: any dining structures must be made of rigid or durable, soft materials (Plexiglass or canvas for example) — no usage of plastic or PVC piping is allowed; signage is not allowed unless approved by the Village board; heating elements must be commercial-grade; and lights must be white and nonblinking.
Over the past two years, three downtown Glencoe restaurants — Hometown Coffee and Juice, Guildhall and Valor — utilized public space for temporary structures. Also on Thursday, April 21, the Village Board approved Guildhall’s application to renew its licensing agreement under the new regulations.
Guildhall plans to deconstruct its dining greenhouses and build what it is calling a “streetery,” a single outdoor-dining structure that will reportedly meet the Village’s standards. The structure will reportedly seat nearly 70 diners, just shy of the capacity with Guildhall’s current greenhouse setup.
The board also considered and approved a refined arrangement for carryout parking in its downtown.
The Village will offer up to three 15-minute carryout spots to all downtown restaurants with a cap of 15 carryout spaces in the area. Sharon Tanner, Glencoe’s assistant village manager, explained at the meeting that every restaurant will receive an opportunity to secure a carryout space.
No fee will be assessed for the first space per restaurant. Additional carryout spaces, however, will come at a monthly cost of $25 during breakfast hours (7-10 a.m.), $25 for dinner hours (4-9 p.m.) and $75 for lunch (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). If a restaurant wants to maintain an additional carryout space for more than two segments, Tanner said, the fees compound — a second carryout space from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. equals $100.
“By providing carryout parking for restaurants that want to have them, it could help manage traffic in the downtown,” she said. “Customer behavior has adapted to them. We would like to continue to provide them, offering them in support of economic development.”
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