Panini's, the anchor restaurant coming to downtown Kent's new Davey Resource Group building, has the go ahead from the city for an outdoor patio.
Kent City Council voted recently to give the business a license to occupy a part of the public right of way, aka the sidewalk, on South Water Street downtown.
Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said the city's engineering office has been working with the developers of the building, Fairmount Properties, to create an outdoor cafe area that includes fencing and tables "in a big swath of the right-of-way" surrounding the restaurant.
In a memo to council, Ruller said the outdoor space is consistent with the city's design strategy for downtown's redevelopment.
"The design of the downtown redevelopment is intended to create vibrant public space through the use of extra wide sidewalks, sidewalk treatments (and) outdoor benches," he said.
Panini's will open in the southwest corner of the building, which stands at the corner of the Haymaker Parkway and South Water Street intersection.
Adam Branscomb, a development manager at Fairmount Properties, said the license to occupy gives Panini's permission to use a portion of the city’s right of way for patio use in the area south of the building, extending to essentially where the electronic community sign will stand, and part of the South Water Street sidewalk.
"Essentially it allows for a wrap-around patio and outdoor dining area," he said.
Branscomb said the restaurant will have about 5,000 square feet with 140 seats inside.
"The patio is going to be close to 2,000 square feet," he said. "That’s in addition to the 5,000 interior. It’s a lot of space."
In August, city council granted a similar license to occupy to Acorn Alley developer Ron Burbick so his anchor restaurant, Laziza, could include a patio with outdoor seating. Council voted unanimously June 6 to grant Panini's license.
The city also recently modified its outdoor seating guidelines to extend the hours until 11 p.m. for downtown businesses, which first must ask to put tables and chairs in the public right-of-way.
Branscomb said Fairmount anticipates most of its tenants will be open by Aug. 30.