Monterey County

Pacific Grove Business May Close After Patio Controversy

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - A Pacific Grove business owner is threatening to close up shop after she claims the city went back on its word.  News Channel 5 has been reporting how Cafe Ariana was given the approval to put up a patio but now the city wants to take it down.

"You can't just give somebody something, approve it, then say remove it," said Marie Favaloro, owner of Cafe Ariana.

Even though Favaloro has proof she was given the green light, it's been a nonstop battle with the city since she put up the patio.

On Friday, customers at Cafe Ariana were enjoying the outdoor seating at the cafe. While the city encourages the new addition, it said the business went about it in the wrong way.

City Manager Tom Frutchey told News Channel 5 the city authorized the business to build temporary, movable fencing, but not permanent. Otherwise, he said Cafe Ariana is making public property, private.

"This is totally frustrating to me. It's humiliating, embarrassing," Favaloro said. "I thought it was a great idea to have this in town and wake up the town a little bit and bring more customers in and it would help other businesses around us. Now I'm embarrassed. There may be people out there thinking we just did this on our own without approval. We didn't. We have proof. We have it on paper."

On Friday, the city made a visit to the business and said it would help take down the fencing. The city told News Channel 5 it would be willing to weld steel bars to the bottom of the fence so that it's movable.

Favaloro said she's ready to close her business of nearly 21 years because the city went back on its word.

"I don't even know if I want to continue being here. I may just sell and move on because this is not humane," she said.

The city said it is trying to work with the business owner's attorney to see if they can bring this to a resolution. He's hopeful the two sides will work it out.

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