An outdoor dining area and bar will have 52 seats and be a permanent part of a popular Brick Township restaurant, its representatives said Wednesday night before the township’s planning board. The proposal was ultimately approved by the board.
Douglas Wolfson, attorney for Edgewood Properties, the owner of the shopping center anchored by Staples and Petco, said the company will build a 1,056 square foot permanent outdoor area art the Urban Coal House Pizza & Bar restaurant, which will covered by a canopy. The board was shown renderings of what the area will look like, which are embedded within this story.
The area will take the place of eight parking spaces, which will be lost, bringing the total number of spaces for the restaurant’s portion of the major shopping center from 187 to 179. The restaurant’s representatives originally had asked to eliminate seven spaces, but the board’s planner and engineer recommended sacrificing one additional space in order to achieve a better design and eliminate the requirement to obtain a design waiver.
“The overall site still complies with the parking ordinance,” said Wolfson, adding that the number of spaces actually exceeds the township’s requirements in the zone. “It’s designed to have a decorative walk around the outdoor seating area, plus a metal roof canopy over the seating area.”
The outdoor dining section will include an outdoor bar area with televisions, plus a combination of two and four-seat table tops, which will add 52 seats to the restaurant. The restaurant must modify its liquor license to note the new metes and bounds of the licensed area, which requires approval by the township council and state regulators – a routine matter.
Wolfson said the site will maintain a four-foot sidewalk around the entire building, and work with the township to design the best protective system to keep diners and bar patrons safe from traffic, even though vehicles generally move slowly in parking lots. A physical wall is the company’s first choice, however the board resolved that a backup plan should also include bollards if the wall is deemed insufficient by the township. The company agreed to abide by the recommendation of officials, and the bollards, if required, would be designed in a decorative manner to conceal their more utilitarian purpose.
The hearing, which lasted about 45 minutes, ended with a unanimous vote in favor of approving the company’s plan.