Almost a dozen restaurants in the Carlsbad Village area now have permission to extend their dining areas into the street as part of the city’s newly adopted three-year program to introduce “curb cafés.”
The parking-lot dining areas will be on temporary decks and take up one or two parking spaces.
“When you’re sitting there, you won’t feel like you’re sitting on the street,” said Kristina Ray, the city’s media contact. Village visitors can park on either side of the curb cafés, she said, but decorations lining the decks, such as plants or awnings, will act as visual barriers.
Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, on State Street, was the first eatery to submit a curb café design to the city. “It will remind everyone of the European cafés in Europe,” says Garcia’s owner Belynn Gonzales.
The architecture designs will go through an approval process with the city’s planning department, says Stephen Gibson, president of Urban Place Consulting. The City of Carlsbad chose his company to spearhead the project. According to Gibson, about five restaurant owners have showed interest so far.
A total of 11 curb cafés will be allowed. The city will collect a fee of $100 a month for each curb café. Each restaurant will be allowed to occupy up to two parking spaces. The fees will compensate for lost parking revenue and partially fund city staff time spent processing, inspecting, and monitoring the cafés, according to the March 12 staff report.