While we’re on parochial subjects, Greater Greater Washington has a post up on Sette Osteria”s (Italian restaurant on Connecticut and R) request to completely enclose the sidewalk dining area on R Street.
In November, Sette Osteria, the pizza restaurant at Connecticut and R in Dupont Circle, proposed putting a retractable awning over their outdoor seating. The awning would enable service in a wider range of weather. The restaurant’s manager initially told the community that they planned only to request the awning, not a complete enclosure. However, only a few months after receiving approval for the awning, they have requested permission to install removable panels that would completely enclose the space during the winter.
I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about this, but as a general rule, businesses should not rely on year round usage of public space for private interests. If you operate a restaurant on one of the most desirable corners in one of the most desirable neighborhoods, and you need public subsidy for a third of your seating area to stay afloat — as Sette claims — you might want to reexamine your menu and pricing.