Seattle Should Make Curbside Dining Permanent

Comments

1

More needs to be done to calm (or eliminate) vehicle traffic on busy roads with streetside dining.

2

That permanent outdoor seating at Mamnoon was under utilized before Covid. It was fine if I wanted to eat a falafel sandwich out of a paper bag that day. But if I am going to pay full boat for a proper meal, I don't want to deal with napkins flapping around, sudden changes in temperature or sun in my eyes that I can't maneuver around due to seating arrangements, as often happens with outdoor dinning.

3

@2,
Yeah, but you don't HAVE to eat outside. In fact, if they made outside dining permanent it would mean more indoor space is available more often for you.

4

@3
Before Covid people were choosing not eat out side that often as well. In the PNW outdoor dining is mostly overflow seating unless the weather is optimal at places that have decks and patios all ready. I don't think its just me.

5

I don't know who Howard Wright is, but this article sounds like PR to me.

I kind of agree with skidmark here. I have a hard time believing there is a high demand for outdoor dining in Seattle, where it drizzles for half the year. I have enjoyed outdoor eating in foreign cities in warmer or dryer climates. I wouldn't want to eat at an outdoor restaurant in Seattle beyond more than a month or two during the summer. And I have no desire to sit at a table in a former parking spot as cars whiz by, coating my meal in exhaust, hoping I don't get side-swiped. No thanks.

You're right, Urgutha Forka, that I don't HAVE to eat outside. So why should I care if other people want to? Well, because sidewalk dining narrows down the sidewalk, making it harder to walk past to get where you're going, and makes it all but completely impassable for wheelchairs, bikes, or two people walking abreast. Or it eats up increasingly limited street parking. It gives the restaurant essentially free real estate at taxpayer expense, and makes life more difficult for everyone else nearby.

Wright's solution is to pimp Uber (twice). These ride sharing services are a failing business model that pays their "independent contractor" drivers less than minimum wage. This is not a sustainable transit option, and has no place in this discussion.

On the one hand, I have no problem with the outdoor dining as a crutch during the pandemic to help businesses stay afloat. And even afterward, I won't lose sleep over a few around here and there. But I'm deeply skeptical of this article, and strongly doubt there is a high demand for this, other than by restaurant owners wanting free real estate from the city. I think the city should proceed cautiously and slowly if they want to contemplate more outdoor dining after the pandemic is over.

7

Perhaps SLOG should have required some full disclosure on behalf of the author, who I believe is the Founder & CEO of the Seattle Hospitality Group - so probably not a coincidence that he'd want to use public assest (sidewalks and streets) for a private benefit (restaurant seating).

Yes, I do think there should be more outdoor seating in Seattle - our crapy weather nothwithstanding. Give diners an option.

But I cannot help but wonder if Howard would be as entheusiastic about the idea of using 'our' sidewalks and streets for restaurant dining if it meant restoring the currently-waived sidewalk permit fees.

8

"Howard Wright is founder of Seattle Hospitality Group, with tourism and hospitality operations throughout the Pacific Northwest."

9

@ 7 & 8, Ah, I should have Googled before my comment, but that does explain why the article sounded like a press release. That's exactly what it is.

Stranger editors: do better. You periodically have guest writers. That's fine. But they should be expected to disclose who they are and their affiliation to the subject.

@6, I often agree with you, but on this issue I do not. If you add tents, that just further blocks the sidewalk. You may as well extend the building out farther and have 2' wide sidewalks then. And I have to wonder how much carbon dioxide those outdoor propane heaters emit. It may be awesome for you as a dining customer, but it's a pain in the ass to anyone trying to get anywhere in the vicinity besides the outdoor restaurant. I sure as hell don't think we should be spending tax dollars to subsidize it once the pandemic is over.

10

@6:

While propane heaters do produce some carbon dioxide (about 135 lbs of CO2 per 1 mm BTU according to the EPA), the more serious matter is carbon monoxide output. If the propane is consumed efficiently there's very little; but a poorly running unit can produce significant amounts. Granted, it's not much of an issue out-of-doors, but I wouldn't want to be in an enclosed space, such as a tent, with a janky heater.

11

They shouldn't be blocking the sidewalk but anything that takes away subsidized parking from cars is a great idea.

12

@9 That disclosure is at the end of the column.

13

Lots of small restaurants would love outdoor seating to expand their Capitalist goal at Taxpayer expense. But unpredictably 9+ months a year its can be lousy weather. Even inside how many of you wished you weren't seated near the front door of a restaurant where that cold breeze would wave over your table as people came and went?

14

Oh, by the way, I hope it's not just restaurants. Any business should be able to expand onto the sidewalk and street right?
Let the territorial Street feuds begin.
Almost time to make popcorn.

15

Have we not noticed that Seattle is inhospitable for outdoor dining for about 10-11 months per year? Do you not remember that when you are going out for the evening in mid-August you grab a sweater because you know you will likely be cold by 10:00 pm? I love my adopted city, but Paris it is not.

16

dressing well means staying (mostly) warm but Heated Seats're gonna be The thing for (mostly) year-round outdoor cuisining.

"toasty!" --actual quote

17

I'm not sure I want to "enjoy" a meal, breathing constant vehicle exhaust, constantly.
Oh, boy, let's have a Metro Bus Exhaust too, with dessert.
Yum.

18

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, please bring back curbside and sidewalk dining, such as you see in Europe. Breath life back into post-COVID-19 Lady Seattle and give the sidewalks and streets back to the people, not the tinny automotive butt-movers and smelly, smoky busses AgentSmith2 aptly refers to. Remember campers, you're paying for this lovely city and you should be able to enjoy it. Security details such as we see down in the Pioneer Square area can be deployed to prevent homeless folks from picking at diners' meals. Let us continue to deemphasize automobiles, which are instruments of destruction, and give the streets back to the people. Voting for Nikkita Oliver or Kshama Sawant and their progressive, green agendas can help bring these ideals to fruition. Also, we need to make sure fine movies like "Carried Away", "The Rose", "Possession" and "Time Served" (you haven't lived until you've seen Katherine Oxenburgs's knockers unleashed) are fully streamable. These, along with many other fine unstreamable films would make excellent outdoor cinema in our newly reimagined outdoor dining, green, automobile and stinky bus-free Seattle. Pollysexual apologizes for these long, laborious posts which may cause someone up in Wallingford to chip their dentures on their vibrator.

19

@7 see there you go expecting The Stranger to disclose who pays them for these articles.

20

The author failed to mention that he owns at least 15 restaurants in Seattle. He as well as the Strangwer should have mentioned this.

21

@18: it was this post that finally made me realize this is a parody account and now i feel like an idiot for not realizing that before