City Paper Widget

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

14th Street Taylor Gourmet: Sidewalk Seating Too Ambitious

At its regular monthly meeting July 9, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle voted unanimously to recommend cutting back a request by Taylor Gourmet (1908 14th Street NW) for outdoor serving space.

Taylor Gourmet as seen from the far side of the curb cut
Taylor Gourmet asked for two sets of outdoor tables. One set would be situated on the sidewalk up against the 14th Street (i.e., front) side of the establishment. The other set would be close the curb. Pedestrians on 14th Street would walk in an aisle between the two sets of tables.

In addition, Taylor Gourmet asked to extend its hours of operation. They asked for permission to be open 10am to 10pm, Monday-Thursday, and 10am to 3:30, Saturday and Sunday.

Commissioner Noah Smith (district 09) negotiated with Taylor Gourmet, which is in his ANC district.

ANC1B agreed to endorse operating hours of 10am to 11pm, Monday-Thursday, and 10am to midnight, Saturday and Sunday.

At the meeting, Smith also said the original proposal was for tables to be situated a foot from the curb of 14th Street. No other restaurant in the area has this configuration of sidewalk space.

"If approved, it is potentially precedent-setting for the block," Smith said. He noted that other newly-opened establishments nearby, like the Wydown Coffee Bar (1924 14th Street), were considering outdoor space applications. Someone said the only restaurant in DC that has permission for the split configuration of sidewalk tables is Jaleo on 7th Street in Penn Quarter.

Smith advocated eliminating the two table (and four chairs) closest to the street for several reasons. The tables would be too close to both the street as well as a curb cut that allows cars in and out of the building now housing the next-door Trader Joe's. Diners would be in danger. Also, the tables and diners would block the sight line of the cars exiting Trader Joe's garage.

Commissioner Mike Silverstein (district 06) agreed with Smith.

"This areas is going to have an enormous population increase," he said. "Our responsibility is to care for the public".

During the public comment period, audience members said the proposed configuration would make it difficult for two people to walk abreast, and this type of public space configuration has not been approved for any other cafe in the area.

If the curbside tables are eliminated from the plan, Taylor Gourmet will end up with permission for only one outdoor table, with two seats, next to its front window.

The request will now go to the part of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) that deals with public space management for final adjudication.

1 comment:

  1. but they are ok with Tico's windows that open beyond the bay and into the pedestrian ROW just a few doors down? So much for the "care for the public"