Gadsden finds a workaround for restaurants that may want outdoor seating

Gadsden outdoor dining

GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - A Gadsden council member who once pushed a possible ordinance to easily allow outdoor dining now says such a law is unnecessary.

Jason Wilson told WBRC about the idea two weeks ago. Now he says further legal research shows there’s a law already on the books that calls for an application.

It also calls for the matter to be reviewed by several departments, including an inspection by the city's building department.

Wilson says there's now an agreement between the mayor's office, the building department and the city clerk, where a restaurant can set up tables on the sidewalk immediately and begin table service once they turn in their application.

“You can simply bring your application, it’s a one page application, it’s very simple. You bring that one page application to city hall, you turn it in, you can start outdoor table service immediately,” Wilson said.

A Washington Post article this week said the idea is catching on in a number of cities across the country, but Wilson says the idea had early interest but is slow to catch on in Gadsden, likely because of the summer heat and humidity in the south.

Jefferson’s, Mater’s Pizza and Buffalo Wild Wings all have outdoor seating. An ordinance passed years ago requires restaurants located directly on the riverside to have outdoor seating like Buffalo Wild Wings, which is located riverside, does now.

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