Positano’s Patio

As someone’s Italian/Scottish grandmother might say, Positano’s is in a bit of a kerfuffle.

On Thursday the restaurant asked the Planning and Zoning Commission for permission to put tables on its outdoor patio.

The terrace — sitting serenely on the Sound — has been there since 2000. The restaurant — catty-corner from Elvira’s, in the Old Mill section of town — has been there far longer.  Old-timers remember it as Cafe de la Plage.

A no-brainer, right?


The patio is illegal. The owners never sought town approval. Outdoor dining is prohibited in residential areas.

And, oh yeah: Part of it was built on town land. Well, sand. Anyway: We own the beach.

The terrace at Positano’s juts into town-owned land.

Dozens of nearby residents oppose the request to place 4 tables on the patio, adding 10 seats to the restaurant for a total of 62. They cite “noise, commotion and congestion,” according to the Westport News, along with inadequate and illegal parking.

Yet at least one resident — 89-year-old Allen Raymond — thinks the proposal is fine.

A view of Positano’s from Hillspoint Road.

Positano’s land-use consultant, Mel Barr, claims that because the economy has driven business down 30 percent from a few years ago, the move to outdoor dining is a necessary “shot in the arm.”

Neighbors might respond it’s a kick in the teeth.

The P&Z did not vote on the application — officially, a lease of town property to the restaurant to allow use of the patio — and public comments are officially closed.

But that doesn’t mean “06880” readers can’t weigh in. Click on your preference in the poll below.  Mangia — or not?

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