The operators of a new smash-burger location, The Win~Dow, in Belmont Shore can move forward with its planned redesign of the old Archibald’s building that will now include 32 outdoor dining seats wrapped around its perimeter.
The Win~Dow operators secured conditional approval of their plans in a Monday afternoon hearing in front of the city’s zoning administrator, which had delayed approval earlier this month over a minor dispute over whether the outdoor furniture would be anchored down.
Owners of the Win~Dow had objected to fixed seating along the perimeter of the building noting that it could lead to people loitering at the tables after hours.
However, city planning officials said that fixing the furniture in place was required to prevent the stools and tables from blocking pedestrians from safely walking on the sidewalk along Quincy Avenue, which is west of the eatery.
Part of the conditional approval will require a survey to be completed to show that the new outdoor dining tables and stools will still allow for the 5 feet of pedestrian clearance on the sidewalk. The business will also have to mark where the public walkway starts and its property begins, either with paint or through a noticeable change in the walking surface like the use of pavers.
“That would help to make sure that we’re not straying into the right of way when they’re using that seating,” said Alexis Oropeza, the city’s zoning administrator.
While the proposal had received pushback from residents who have sought to block other parklet developments along Second Street in Belmont Shore, The Wind~Dow’s proposal is different because it will exist entirely on private property.
The western side of the building’s seating will have to be anchored down but the eastern side, which lines a parking lot, will still be allowed to use movable furniture.
“It’s going to be interesting,” said Julie Dean, president of the Belmont Shore Residents Association. “I appreciate that the tables and chairs will be bolted down, and hopefully that will remain that way and people won’t be using stools from the other side because it’s a fairly limited walkway.”
Dean uses a mobility scooter and has opposed parklets in the area because of the hazards she says they pose to pedestrians and those with disabilities, among other things.
Belmont Shore has been the epicenter of outdoor dining opposition with vocal residents pushing for parklets to be removed during the pandemic and for new applications to be denied because of the shortage of public parking in the area.
Upward of 11 businesses along the Second Street corridor are in some phase of city review for a permanent parklet installation, according to city documents. Two locations, Open Sesame and Legends Restaurant and Sports Bar, have already received approval to build permanent parklets.