Restaurant Owners Feast On Outdoor Dining

The Planning & Zoning Commission seldom hears “thank you.”

Their decisions are often controversial — or humdrum.

But this month’s unanimous vote to extend outdoor dining until further notice was met with effusive praise from restaurant owners throughout town.

From Tutti’s to downtown (where the other day all the well-spaced tables outside Basso were filled) — and even spots like Sherwood Diner — outdoor dining has been an important lifeline during a difficult time.

Basso. on Jesup Green (Photo/Dan Woog)

If neighboring property owners give consent, restaurants can use otherwise unusable setbacks, as Rizzuto’s has done with their popular igloos.

Rizzuto’s popular igloos. (Photo/Joel Treisman)

They can use adjacent property too, as Rive Bistro does.

Restaurants can even request Board of Selectmen permission to put tables in street parking and on sidewalks. Railroad Place (Romanacci, Tarantino, Harvest) and Church Lane (Spotted Horse, Manna Toast) are prime examples of town-restaurant cooperation.

Romanacci’s Xpress.

The application process is simple. It’s managed by P&Z director Mary Young, with support from fire marshal Nate Gibbons, to ensure the safety of patrons and staff.

As the weather gets better, more outdoor dining options are sure to appear.

And who knows? They’re so popular, the P&Z may decide to keep them, long after the pandemic ends.

7 responses to “Restaurant Owners Feast On Outdoor Dining

  1. Westports many restaurants are one of our towns finest assets.
    The cooperation that is taking place between town departments,officials and the restaurant owners has allowed these important businesses to survive in a tough economic period and still provide diners with the culinary delights that make dining in Westport such a special event.
    Invest in Westports economy, dine out and enjoy the experience!

  2. Matthew Mandell

    And if you think it’s a bit chilly, Bring Your Own Blanket. It really works.

  3. Caryl Beatus


  4. This is an encouraging article. The town should continue doing everything in its power to support our local restaurants.

  5. Outdoor dining brings a lot of charm to the town, if nothing else.

  6. I am delighted to see Westport grow its outside dining space. It should remain long after the Covid induced time. Take a look at Greenwich or Fairfield, Clearly the prior restrictions have taken a toll on the local economy,