Local News

Clarendon Hills hires consultant to help with planning of village’s outdoor dining spaces

Clarendon Hills has hired a consulting architect to help with planning the future of outdoor dining spaces in the village.
Gary R. Weber Associates, Inc., has been obtained for $20,030, with a kickoff meeting between village staff and the consultant on tap for within the next two weeks.
“We are exploring with the community what we want our outdoor dining spaces to look like moving forward,” Village Manager Zach Creer said. “The current setup was a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now that we have gotten through that, the (Village) Board wants to make sure these spaces meet the aesthetic standards that we set for our permanent spaces in the downtown design district.
“The hiring of the consultant was done to work on possible ideas for how to keep the energy outdoor dining brings, while frankly making it a little nicer than the current concrete barricade look.”
Creer said that may include making some of the spaces permanent over time by creating parklets that can function as private dining areas.
“But we are at early stages and currently brainstorming ideas,” he said.
Community Development Director Ed Cage said the next few meetings with
Weber Associates will determine when staff expects to have a report from the consultant.
Shannon McDonald, events manager for the Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce, said she believes the outdoor dining study is needed to transition away from the temporary Covid measures and to steer the downtown in an aesthetically cohesive direction while being affordable to local business owners.
“Outdoor dining is great for our community, and I always look forward to ways we can elevate our downtown appeal to entice more diners, shoppers, and business to Clarendon Hills,” she said.
Nick Fatouros, owner of Thassos Greek Restaurant, 1 Walker Avenue, said outdoor dining is very important, not only for restaurants in Clarendon Hills but also for the village as a community.
“We live in Arlington Heights, and the village there has done a whole lot for the outdoor dining,” he said. “They made the downtown an outdoor dining hub, attracting customers and revenue from many surrounding areas. That could be a good idea for Clarendon Hills too.”

Chuck Fieldman is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

Chuck Fieldman , 2024-02-13 18:40:20

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