Four New Haven Restaurants Offering Seating in Parking Spots

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tikkaway Grill in New Haven.

    Outside the Tikkaway Grill on Orange Street, there are tables, chairs and umbrellas set up in a parking spot that the restaurant has rented for the summer.

    The tables give Tikkaway customers an extra dining option.

    "My handicap in here is lack of space. I only have 14 seats, and if I could get more, I know I could use more space," said Gopi Nair, who owns Tikkaway.

    Nair says he also hopes that it will help attract more people to his restaurant, which has been open for about 11 months now.

    Meat and Co. on Crown Street was the first restaurant, and pilot, for the city’s parking space rental program last September. By December, it said the outdoor dining doubled business.

    "I have a strong feeling that I will get a good bump, and I would love that bump," said Nair.

    So far, customers seem to be liking the outdoor option.

    "I think it’s a great way to expand their ability to serve people," said Jeff Browning.

    "Sometimes I come here and it’s really nice out, I want to sit outside," said Catherine Maslan.

    However, there are some businesses that are complaining that taking up a parking space is bad for business, because in downtown New Haven, parking is already limited.

    "No question parking is valuable, and every space is a value statement on what we can use the space best for. Right now, we’re saying in the City of New Haven a couple of the parking spaces in our network can be outdoor dining options for customers," said Doug Hausladen, New Haven's Director of Transportation, Traffic and Parking.

    Each year, the city hopes to improve the program.

    Last year, New Haven only had one restaurant use the program. This year, it has four.