ST. PETERSBURG – The Town of St. Pete will no longer allow restaurants to keep tables in parking spaces, effective October 18.
What would you like to know
- Companies were told last week that the program would end in mid-October
- Bandit Coffee on Central Avenue launched a changer.org petition in order to get the city to reconsider.
- The city is considering a long-term solution, but it would not include the concrete barriers
- More Pinellas County Titles
According to Ben Kirby, a city spokesperson, the concrete barriers marked “Restart St. Pete” will be removed later this month. These barriers were placed in front of nearly two dozen restaurants last year to allow more outdoor seating amid the pandemic.
Businesses were told last week that the program would end in mid-October and that they would have to withdraw their tables.
The city sent surveys to 914 downtown business owners in July asking for their opinions at the tables across the street. They received 18 responses and Kirby said 61% of those businesses were not happy with the tables that cut off the parking lot.
Bandit Coffee on Central Avenue launched a changer.org petition in order to get the city to reconsider. The top of their petition states that “The city has not asked or interviewed small businesses or citizens for comment regarding this measure. This is our chance to let them know how we feel.
The owner of The Lure, also located on Central Avenue, said the city had not asked them for their opinion either. Or if they did, they never saw the email or the notice.
“Just having fewer seats for people will definitely hurt our business a bit. I mean I enjoyed what we have here, ”said owner Tom Golden.
Kirby said the city is considering a long-term solution, but that it will not include the concrete barriers.
“We are currently working on a long-term, permanent program proposal, which will involve establishing minimum design standards, annual license fees and location criteria,” he wrote in an email to Spectrum Bay News 9.
It’s something Golden says he would definitely consider, and he understands why some companies want to reclaim additional parking.
“There is always the flip side in every situation and there is one in this one,” he said.
Tables are still permitted on the sidewalk in various areas of the city center.