Monterey County

Restaurants propose outside seating in Monterey

Would you like to see more outside dining in Monterey?  The city is surveying downtown restaurants to see if it's something they want.  On Thursday a committee continued its review of requests from restaurants for outdoor seating. 

Thursday's survey won't mean a final answer for the restaurants that want the outdoor seating.  City officials say they'll analyze the space available, parking, and other factors before making any decisions.  The goal of all this is to revitalize the downtown area to benefit the local economy.

Driving by or walking by, restaurants want to catch the public's eye.  Many of them, want to do so with extra seating, outside.

JC Hill, brewer at Alvarado Street Brewery said, "It really shows life on Alvarado you know being able to have that sort of European cafe like atmosphere I think is a big part and big step towards the overall vision of the downtown improvement plan."

City officials said they have been strategically looking for ways to improve and expand Monterey's downtown.  Restaurants said that one of the benefits of outdoor seating is that when the weather is nice outside it makes the dining experience that much better.  The Alvarado Street Brewery currently has outdoor dining.  The restaurant said they would love to see the rest of the street provide the same experience, and see the same results as they have.

"I hope that other business around here will see the benefit to moving forward or wanting to provide outside dining to customers, it's been a big hit for us," Hill said-

The Alvarado Street Brewery didn't have outdoor seating when they first opened, but they applied for the permit several years ago, and have seen great results since.  

General Manager Kris Cowdrey said, "I feel that we've gotten a lot more walk in business, people are walking by they're very interested to see what's going on."

Now other restaurants in the area are hoping to follow suit, but they need to get the OK from the City Council, a process that's already under way right now.

For now city leaders plan to continue surveying other streets in the area where restaurants hope to get the outdoor seating.  Those streets include Calle Principal, Cannery Row, and Lighthouse Avenue. 

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