Plans to offer on-street seating are underway at Buckhead Italian restaurant and market Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante. The Atlanta City Council earlier this month unanimously approved an ordinance permitting restaurants and bars to offer seating on city streets in order to “provide safe, socially distant outdoor dining spaces” during the pandemic.
Pietro Gianni tells Eater he and his partners, Stephen Peterson and chef Michael Patrick, recently began construction on six covered and heated outdoor dining compartments in three parking spaces along Grandview Avenue. Construction should be completed by mid-January, adding an additional 32 to 40 seats in front of the restaurant. The covered patio at Storico Fresco currently seats around 20 people.
“We decided to expand outdoor dining for the obvious Covid reasons and because we think outdoor dining will be preferred for a very long time,” says Gianni. “We got organized and invested heavily in good quality materials, heaters, fans, misters, etc. for the foreseeable future.”
This summer, Gianni, Stephens, and Patrick added additional outdoor seating at their Westside Provisions District Italian restaurant Forza Storico. The partners expanded outdoor seating there into the grassy common area in front of the restaurant and along the side of the restaurant above the railroad tracks. Gianni says dine-in service at Forza Storico is up nearly 35 percent since adding more outdoor seating options.
The city’s new outdoor dining permit requires street seating to be located directly in front of or adjacent to a restaurant or bar. On-street seating cannot exceed more than 50 percent of the total capacity for the establishment. The permit, obtained from the Atlanta Department of Transportation, is good through the end of 2021. For now, ATLDOT plans to waive the permit fee.