The new Laziza restaurant coming to Acorn Alley II downtown will have an outdoor patio to complement its large indoor seating area.
Kent City Council approved a last-minute request from developer Ron Burbick this week that allows the restaurant's patio to occupy a portion of the public right-of-way at the corner of Erie and South DePeyster streets.
"This is in line with a goal the city has of encouraging an active street environment," Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said.
Laziza, a restaurant of about 3,500 square feet with 120 seats, will feature Mediterranean food, as well as steaks and seafood.
It's one of the larger spaces in Acorn Alley II and will stand at the corner of Erie and South DePeyster streets — across from the Kent Central Gateway transit center and the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center.
The approval from council allows Burbick to enter into a license agreement so the patio can occupy the public space. The patio will be about 30 feet wide by 15 feet wide and surrounded by a fence at the northwest corner of the intersection.
Doug Fuller, the architect designing Acorn Alley II for Burbick, said the patio will have stone corners and columns about 48 inches tall connected with fencing.
"The fence in the middle will either be rod iron or aluminum," Fuller said.
Bowling said the patio does not impede sidewalk use in the area, as Erie Street will be completely reconstructed in the next two years as part of all the ongoing downtown redevelopment. The reconstruction includes wider sidewalks than exist now.
"We’ve maintained over 7 feet of clearance of walkway through that area," he said. "It’s actually a very difficult site … to try to find a way to make this steep corner suitable for outdoor dining. We worked together to adjust the street design and the building design and the patio.
"We feel this is the best solution to achieve the goal we’re looking for," Bowling said.
Per the license agreement, Burbick has to show annual proof of liability insurance and maintain the space the patio occupies. And if in the future the space is no longer used for a restaurant, then Burbick would have to remove the patio, Bowling said.